Wikipedia:Reliable sources/Noticeboard/Archive 159

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Archive 158 Archive 159 Archive 160


Talk:No Gun Ri massacre

I'm a non-participant in ongoing edits/talk. This looks to me to be a POV noticeboard problem so I have posted at POV noticeboard, but might be worth someone looking at the problem from the RS perspective too. In ictu oculi (talk) 15:38, 31 October 2013 (UTC)

Talking Points Memo as RS for documenting a Senator's vote

User:CFredkin claims that Talking Points Memo is not a reliable source for documenting a Senator's vote. [1][2] The content will be easily sourced from elsewhere, being a US Senator's vote, but I don't like editors attempting to move the Overton Window by making false claims. Please advise. — goethean 16:38, 31 October 2013 (UTC)

In my opinion, neither Talking Points Memo or Policymic are reliable sources. They are both pushing an agenda. A similar argument has been made elsewhere regarding Breitbart. If TPM and Policymic are reliable, then I would argue that Breitbart would be as well.CFredkin (talk) 17:44, 31 October 2013 (UTC)
No experience or opinion with TPM/Breitbart ... but last I remember, PolicyMic is not at all a reliable source, it is like , anybody can write for it, no fact-checking. (talk) 03:40, 3 November 2013 (UTC)
What exactly are you claiming here? You think that Kirk didn't vote the way that these journalists say that he voted? Or are you just using RS as a weapon to remove content that you don't like? — goethean 18:48, 31 October 2013 (UTC)
It's not clear that the vote referenced in the content you're trying to add to the article is significant. Mention of it in a reliable secondary source would indicate whether it is significant. I don't believe the sources mentioned above would be considered reliable.CFredkin (talk) 19:28, 31 October 2013 (UTC)
Now you are making a different argument. Whether the content is appropriate is a different question than whether the source is reliable. Your first argument was that the source is unrelisble. Are you discarding that argument for a new one? — goethean 19:46, 31 October 2013 (UTC)
Oh, I see, it's a tit-for-tat. Breitbart is an obviously unreliable source, so you are attempting to impeach other sources which you know are reliable. That makes sense. — goethean 18:50, 31 October 2013 (UTC)
Breitbart seems very comparable to these 2 sources to me (although obviously from different political perspectives).CFredkin (talk) 19:57, 31 October 2013 (UTC)

Talking Points Memo is certainly reliable in this instance. Two kinds of pork (talk) 18:55, 31 October 2013 (UTC)

What's your rationale?CFredkin (talk) 19:29, 31 October 2013 (UTC)
While partisan, this is a legitimate news operation with professional editors and reporters, who has credentials that can be verified. I'm not saying this should be used in the manner suggested, but as towards the claim it makes it seems utterly reliable,Two kinds of pork (talk) 22:11, 31 October 2013 (UTC)
  • It seems to me that if Kirk's vote was any more notable than any other vote he's had, it would be commented on in an established WP:RS and not some partisan rag. WeldNeck (talk) 19:52, 31 October 2013 (UTC)
  • I've never heard of this source before, but they appear to be a professional news organization with editorial oversight.[3][4] In absence of other contradicting information, I would lean towards it being reliable. A Quest For Knowledge (talk) 16:40, 2 November 2013 (UTC)
  • TPM is a liberal/progressive opinion source. Much like Newsmax. They are reliable for their own views, but information from TPM is going to be liberally biased. There opinion about others should take this into consideration. Generally speaking, if something is that notable it will be covered as such by less biased sources than thses. Additionally, the manner it which it was being used in this instance is clearly pushing a liberal POV, which makes the edit a NPOV. Arzel (talk) 17:22, 2 November 2013 (UTC)
The reference in question is not an opinion piece. We should accept it as reliable. Whether or not its usage here is warranted per NPOV is a different question altogether.Two kinds of pork (talk) 18:04, 2 November 2013 (UTC)
Arzel, just because the source is a biased one, does not mean coverage in that source is not reliable. It sounds like folks here are pretty well agreed that TPM in this case counts as a reliable source, and if a reliable source gives something significant coverage, then that something is almost certainly WP:NOTEWORTHY, though not necessarily WP:N enough for a dedicated wikipedia article or anything. There is a separate question, which is how WP:UNDUE applies... maybe the stuff the reliable source is discussing, are worth a tiny mention in the mainspace article, or even *no* mention if the editors reach consensus that the stuff is just not necessary to the article, per WP:IAR. But usually, wikipedia should mirror the sources, and maintain NPOV tone by *saying* that "avowed liberals[1][2] at TPM said[3] '...' in October 2013...." for instance. HTH. (talk) 03:40, 3 November 2013 (UTC)
  • I agree with AQFK's argument for why it's a reliable source. MilesMoney (talk) 17:39, 2 November 2013 (UTC)
OK. Then presumably Breitbart would be considered a reliable source as well.CFredkin (talk) 05:46, 3 November 2013 (UTC)
Neutrality is not required for a reliable source (although, of course, it's preferred). However, lack of neutrality can impact negatively upon reliability. This is the case for NewsMax, for example, which routinely gets the facts wrong when they don't suit their political narrative. MilesMoney (talk) 02:53, 8 November 2013 (UTC)
  • The noticeboard has had a discussion about Policymic before here, and it's a self-published thing unreliable for use. Should be removed. TPM is reliable, but Policymic should go. Thargor Orlando (talk) 14:40, 5 November 2013 (UTC)

User:Gamaliel: Can you please weigh in here? Thanks.CFredkin (talk) 05:46, 8 November 2013 (UTC)

Honestly, I'm not trying to play "gotcha" here. As I indicated below, I'm just looking for a level playing field. Both TPM and Newsmax are edited and POV. It appears that they should both be reliable, or not.CFredkin (talk) 16:51, 8 November 2013 (UTC)

Sourcing at Wikipedia:Fringe theories/Noticeboard#Acupuncture

Over at Wikipedia:Fringe theories/Noticeboard#Acupuncture there is an ongoing discussion concerning the sources used to support claims about the effectiveness of acupuncture. This could really use another set of eyes looking at it. --Guy Macon (talk) 18:28, 31 October 2013 (UTC)

This is being discussed at Wikipedia talk:Identifying reliable sources (medicine)#Acupuncture and TCM --Guy Macon (talk) 16:57, 1 November 2013 (UTC)


After seeing a WP:Edit war between Atotalstranger and NorthBySouthBaranof, evidenced by this, this and this, over whether or not is a WP:Reliable source, I decided to bring the matter here. Notice what NorthBySouthBaranof links to in the first diff-link. I always thought that counted as a WP:Reliable source for celebrity/public figure information; it's certainly widely used on Wikipedia with regard to who is richest and/or most influential, though it's often being used to source itself in such cases. I haven't checked this noticeboard's archives to see if, or how many times, Forbes/ has been discussed here, so forgive me if this thread is redundant.

It is also worth noting that Atotalstranger's approach to sourcing is currently being discussed at WP:ANI. Flyer22 (talk) 00:17, 1 November 2013 (UTC)

Forbes should be considered reliable, despite North's claim otherwise. It's an elementary exercise to prove this, so I won't. However the link in question is an op-ed, so it's an opinion piece.Two kinds of pork (talk) 00:50, 1 November 2013 (UTC)
Thanks, Two kinds of pork. Flyer22 (talk) 02:02, 1 November 2013 (UTC)
This is wrong. The Romenesko article I posted specifically points out that bloggers are NOT regularly fact-checked or edited. This means that they are no more than personal blogs with a fancy name. Fact-checking and editing are at the heart of our reliable sourcing policy because we rely on those external sources being true. Absent internal controls at the publisher level, there is no guarantee that what is posted in that blog is true because it has NEVER been examined by a fact-checker or professional editor. This does not apply to material published in the dead-tree magazine, which the material in question is not. NorthBySouthBaranof (talk) 03:41, 1 November 2013 (UTC)
Also see this bit that Tarcil added to the Forbes Wikipedia article; NorthBySouthBaranof has a valid point on this matter. Flyer22 (talk) 03:58, 1 November 2013 (UTC)
Wasn't the source in question an op-ed? I don't think anyone is going to contaminate the entirety of over this.Two kinds of pork (talk) 04:13, 1 November 2013 (UTC)
Any of the blogs hosted by are un-edited, non-factchecked, self-published posts. See this article from the Poynter Institute: "There is no traditional editing of contributors’ copy, at least not prior to publishing. If a story gets hot or makes the homepage, a producer will “check it more carefully,” DVorkin said. This flies in the face of what we demand in a reliable source. It doesn't matter what the name is, or what we "contaminate" - the contamination to be worried about is the contamination of Wikipedia content with material that hasn't been vetted by a traditional system of editing and fact-checking.
At the very least, this makes any blog an unacceptable source for contentious material about living persons. NorthBySouthBaranof (talk) 07:03, 1 November 2013 (UTC)
Blogs hosted by generally RS Websites (such as can be treated as analogous to columns in RS newspapers, which also are not generally fact-checked and often given no more than very rudimentary editing. Fine as a source for the writer's opinions, and in practice fine for non-contentious statements of fact if there's no other source available (especially where the writer is an expert), but not good sources for contentious factual suggestions, especially where BLPs are concerned. Barnabypage (talk) 08:10, 1 November 2013 (UTC)
I think that's a good way of putting it. NorthBySouthBaranof (talk) 09:06, 1 November 2013 (UTC)
Newsblogs (which Forbes blogs count as) are opinion or editorials and can not be used to source any facts. All opinion from them must be accompanied by attributing the source in the text like: "John Smith of believes..." with the inline citation to the blog.--Mark Miller (talk) 20:27, 2 November 2013 (UTC)
I'm not sure about "can not be used to source any facts," but Mark Miller is referring to what the WP:NEWSBLOG policy outlines. Flyer22 (talk) 21:50, 2 November 2013 (UTC)
Let me rephrase that. Rarely used to source facts. Per: WP:NEWSORG "Editorial commentary, analysis and opinion pieces, whether written by the editors of the publication (editorials) or outside authors (op-eds) are reliable primary sources for statements attributed to that editor or author, but are rarely reliable for statements of fact." Although I have yet to see when an editorial has ever been used to source a fact reliably.--Mark Miller (talk) 21:59, 2 November 2013 (UTC)
Some analysis articles are very serious and are excellent sources. Unfortunately, it can be difficult to find objective criteria to distinguish them from filler pieces. Itsmejudith (talk) 22:46, 2 November 2013 (UTC)
Well the point isn't about something as ill-defined as a "filler piece". What is at issue is whether an opinion piece (or editorial) is appropriate to use to source a fact. The answer is simply, "very seldom, if ever".--Mark Miller (talk) 02:45, 3 November 2013 (UTC)
I agree that most Forbes blogs are not reliable for contentious facts, unless the blogger themselves is a well-known authority on the subject. For uncontentious straightforward facts or description, I see no objection, though better sources are preferred even here. But nlogs in major publication have become a more customary form of publication since our guidelines were written, However, a good deal else published by Forbes is unreliable in other ways--most of their directory information is contributed by the subject. DGG ( talk ) 04:24, 6 November 2013 (UTC)

References for Sagar Dutta Memorial Medical College and Hospital

The third reference in the article appears to be a copy of this wiki article.Even the language is exactly the same.Am I correct in my judgement in the fact that this is not a reliable source?The one objection that can be raised against the points I have made is this:It is hosted on the official website of the department of health of the West Bengal government,which oversees the functioning of Medical Colleges(as medical schools are known in India.)

The section I am referrng to is this:

Sagore Dutta Charitable Hospital and Dispensary initially started as a philanthropic organization with an objective of all round health care of the poor peasants and industrial workers of Kamarhati and adjoining areas. Its immense service to fulfill the objectives was recognized when the then Medical Secretary, Dr. Anderson, on his India tour, visited ‘a rural hospital and dispensary situated outside Calcutta, the Sogore Dutt Charitable Hospital and Dispensary’ in January, 1937.The Sagore Dutt Hospital Act, 1958 (Act 14 of 1958) was enforced with effect from the 1st March 1959, vide notification No. Medl./852/14-84/58, dated 30/01/1959, published in the Calcutta Gazette of 1959, Part 1, page 662. The Act provided for the taking over of Sagore Dutt Hospital at Kamarhati in the district of 24 Parganas together with the charitable dispensary attached thereto, by the State Government with a view to the promotion of public health.[3]

Guru-45 (talk) 17:34, 1 November 2013 (UTC)

This appears to be the official Government of West Bengal's Health & Family Welfare Department website. If the language is the same, most likely we (Wikipedia) ripped off the wording from them, not the other way around, but anything is possible. If you think this is a case of WP:CIRCULAR, you can try to figure out which was published first. But taking a quick look at the article history, it appears that the offending text was added very recently, about a month ago on September 29, 2013 with this diff.[5] That would make most likely our article a copyright violation. You can contact someone at the WP:HELPDESK for assistance on how to fix copyright problems. A Quest For Knowledge (talk) 18:05, 2 November 2013 (UTC)
Well spotted, Guru-45! There were copyvios from a number of sources. I think I got them all, but if you think I missed any, please say so. Justlettersandnumbers (talk) 20:26, 2 November 2013 (UTC)

RfC: Peter Sellers article regarding the use of word "Jewish" of a character

There is a RfC regarding the use of the word "Jewish" to describe a conman character in several 1980 Barclay's Bank commercials. There is a heated discussion regarding the sources to support the content.

Discussion at Talk:Peter Sellers#Request for Comment: Use of term "Jewish" to describe conman character. --Oakshade (talk) 21:21, 1 November 2013 (UTC)

I cannot tell if this is an actual media arm of Toonzone or is a wikia. I am trying to determine whether the site is RS or not. - Jack Sebastian (talk) 02:08, 2 November 2013 (UTC)

Comment. This request for WP:RS assessment is a spin-off-question, from a discussion of whether or not fansite-wiki-URLs are permissible in the external links section (not as sources per se, but as Unique Resources that might be of further interest to wikipedians). See the exception about 'one major fansite' under WP:LINKFARM. All of which, obviously, has nothing to do with the specific question here on RS/N, which is whether or not WorldsFinestOnline is an official slash reliable source about the various shows/characters/etc it covers, in the sense of being useful for inline-citations of statements in wikipedia articles. But although my comment is off-topic, I figured I'd give the context here, in case people follow the backtrail, and wonder what the heck we're talking about on EL/N and the article-talkpage. HTH. — (talk) 16:08, 2 November 2013 (UTC)
74Anon is correct; I wasn't asking about the use of fansites as external sources. As I understand it, so long as it isn't a banned site and doesn't create a landing strip for all sorts of fansites, the major one is usually allowed.
The question here pertains to the use of WF as a reliable source, as some users were seeking to use it as such to add material to the article. I am almost certain that YoungJustice Wikia isn't a RS, so I dodn't even bother to ask. WF could do with some extra eyes, though. - Jack Sebastian (talk) 16:36, 2 November 2013 (UTC)
The policy is very clear guys:" most fansites, except those written by a recognized authority" are unacceptable. For example...all fan run sites are excluded, but the official fansite, owned, operated or approved by the studio of the film or series etc. is acceptable. Wikis are not that.--Mark Miller (talk) 20:22, 2 November 2013 (UTC)
Hello Mark, nice to see you again. So, right, and when you look at WorldsFinestOnline, the creator/maintainer has a email address, and at the bottom of the contact-page it says 'hosted by toonZone' ... yet it also seems to permit at least *some* kind of fan-edited-content, though not much. So I guess the question is, if the fansite is "hosted-and-partially-written" by a recognized authority (ToonZone in this case), does that make it acceptable for use-as-a-reference, since we *presume* that ToonZone personnel are exercising some editorial oversight? Or, on the other hand, does that make it unacceptable for use-as-a-reference, since we alternatively *presume* anything goes? We can try emailing the maintainer, and asking them what the oversight policy is, I suppose, and whether they are a 'fan' with a courtesy webmail account, or an official employee. But maybe the "fansite... operated... by [somebody official-like]" part applies here. Thanks (talk) 03:05, 3 November 2013 (UTC)
Hey, how's it going? First, I don't see that the sites that Toonzone represent have any official status from the actual copyright holders and, in fact, their "About us" content states: "Toonzone is an animation news and information web site run by a group of devoted animation fans." This is not a news agency or publishing company that appears to be RS to our standards. It does actually appear to be a very elaborate and popular fan run site. Then, when I search for the founder, it appears they are using a username: Brian Cruz Tag (comics) which seems to be a fictitious character. I may be incorrect about the founder, but it does appear they are not using their real name.--Mark Miller (talk) 03:55, 3 November 2013 (UTC)
Further looking finds this: "Staff - Over the site's almost seven years of history, the editorial, news, and moderator staff have changed significantly, but all are unpaid volunteers. Most take nicknames, often based on the names of cartoon characters."--Mark Miller (talk) 04:32, 3 November 2013 (UTC)
I somewhat suspected as much. Thanks for a definitive answer on the subject. - Jack Sebastian (talk) 04:37, 3 November 2013 (UTC)

I have added a source ( a newspaper) to other existing sources. It was deleted. am I wrong?

  • Source. --ref name="ahram1">"The road to Naksa". Cairo , AL-AHRAM. 7 - 13 June 2007. Retrieved 7 - 13 June 2013. Check date values in: |accessdate=, |date= (help)</ref>
  • Article. Six-Day War
  • Content."Mohamed Fawzi (general) left for Syria for one day tour, verified that the Soviet report is false and reported that there are no Israeli armed forces near the Syrian border". The Diff page]

I have added a source ( an Egyptian newspaper on line) to other existing sources. (The article was not modified). The reason is that some Pro Arab readers do not believe that Israel did not planned the war in advance, and would suspect the bias of Israeli / Western history books who claim otherwise. Hence it is better to add a well known Egyptian newspaper (on line, English). Unfortunately, it was deleted since "nor al-Ahram ... are WP:RS sources for history articles" Am I wrong? Ykantor (talk) 21:33, 2 November 2013 (UTC)

Can you clarify which passage from the source is being cited to support the text in our article? Unless I've missed something, the only mention of Fawzi in the article you cite concerns him ordering a book to be withdrawn. AndyTheGrump (talk) 21:47, 2 November 2013 (UTC)
The relevant source sentences are:"In April 1967, Russia told Egypt that Israel was amassing troops on the Syrian borders. Israel had no strategic or tactical motive to do such a thing. And an emissary sent by Nasser to Syria reported back that the information was false. Still, Nasser declared full mobilisation in Egypt as of 14 May 1967, citing the joint defence agreement with Syria.". According to other sources, the emissary was Fawzi. In my opinion the important aspect is the last quote words:"reported back that the information was false. Still, Nasser declared full mobilisation in Egypt as of 14 May 1967, citing the joint defence agreement with Syria." (In retrospect, the article words should have been slightly modified.) Ykantor (talk) 05:28, 3 November 2013 (UTC)
It looks like a WP:OR from your side.
And al-Ahram is a newspaper. This articles is an historcial event more than 40 years old. Scholarly sources exist for this matter. Pluto2012 (talk) 09:34, 3 November 2013 (UTC)
It looks like a ignorence from your side. The article stay the same, which means that there is no WP:OR. Ykantor (talk) 09:43, 4 November 2013 (UTC)
You cannot cite a source for something it doesn't say. AndyTheGrump (talk) 15:07, 4 November 2013 (UTC)
  • If approved, it will be a source for other points as well. Besides, the "Al-Ahram" quote: "an emissary sent by Nasser to Syria reported back that the information was false" is supporting this sentence (except of the emissary name, which is a secondary detail).
  • There are a lot of newspapers among the article sources. e.g. 197 Haaretz, 194 BBC, 193 Chicago tribune, 192 Boston globe and more). Why should we avoid another newspaper , especially since it is not the sentence sole source? Ykantor (talk) 19:57, 5 November 2013 (UTC)
Nowhere near reliable for history. Nor are the other newspapers used in the article. They should be replaced by academic works by historians. Itsmejudith (talk) 23:41, 6 November 2013 (UTC)
We do not give blanket 'approval' of sources. We may approve the use of a source for particular statement - which may have little or no bearing on the use of a source for other purposes. AndyTheGrump (talk) 23:45, 6 November 2013 (UTC)
Itsmejudith, AndyTheGrump thank you. Ykantor (talk) 08:39, 7 November 2013 (UTC)


I'm currently rewriting the Etchmiadzin Cathedral article. Quite a few sources call it the oldest church in the world and that claim is obviously debatable, so I added "often called the oldest church in the world."

Two of the six sources are published by AuthorHouse, which is "a self-publishing company." Since self-published sources are not considered reliable should I keep them? Also, please consider that I used a wording (i.e. "often called") which makes it clear that it is not a fact, but the opinion of some authors anyway, so does it really matter if its self-published or not?

the two sources
  • Benedict, C. T. (2007). One God in One Man. AuthorHouse. p. 121. ISBN 9781434301062. The Holy Etchmiadzin cathedral, dates back to the fourth century, and is thought to be the oldest Christian cathedral in the world.
  • Greer, Charles Douglas (2008). Religions of Man: Facts, Fibs, Fears and Fables. AuthorHouse. p. 47. ISBN 9781467840835. The rest of the Armenian Church and its catholicos who live at Echmiadzin monastery near Yerevan Armenia, said to be the oldest monastery in Christiandom.

--Երևանցի talk 01:30, 3 November 2013 (UTC)

Self-published sources are not usually considered reliable. There is an exception that might apply in your case: If the author of one these books is an established expert on the subject matter, whose work in the relevant field has previously been published by reliable third-party publications, then it would be acceptable. If not, then no, you should not keep them. If you have four books from reliable publishing houses, then you're off to a good start. I hope this helps. A Quest For Knowledge (talk) 01:55, 3 November 2013 (UTC)
I agree. Four sources are enough to get the point across. And these authors don't seem to be authoritative. --Երևանցի talk 02:12, 3 November 2013 (UTC)
Are the four sources reliable sources also using weasel words, like the two you show here? 'said to be' / 'thought to be' / 'often called' ... not very inspiring in terms of reliability. :-)     As for the two sources mentioned here, yes, they should be left out of mainspace -- suggest you leave a copy of the refs on the article talkpage, in a section called 'mine these for research-pointers', since even selfpub sources sometimes have bibliographies or pointers that can later be tracked down in reliable sources for verifiable mainspace facts. There are only a couple big WP:SELFPUB exceptions: one pointed out by Yerevanci, which is if the person is a Notable expert, e.g. the official blog of some Stanford professor of economics *can* be WP:RS. The second exception is opinions about themselves, WP:ABOUTSELF. This does not stretch like taffy: we cannot say that "Charles Greer has stated the fact that he holds the opinion that Echmiadzin monastery is said to be the oldest Christian monastery"... too much indirection! We can only go one step deep, and say something very straightforward involving no other objects-of-discussion, and no controversy, such as "Charles Greer states he is a Christian" (example sentence only -- no clue about the real Greer). HTH. (talk) 03:22, 3 November 2013 (UTC)
1) "generally regarded as the oldest in the world" 2) "is thus the oldest Christian monastery" 3) "the oldest cathedral in Christendom" 4) "the world's oldest cathedral"
As you can see, only one of the four sources uses a weasel word. But my point is that it is always going to be disputed whether Etchmiadzin is the oldest church in the world or not, because there are several criteria that can be taken into considered, so we have to use vague-ish words here. --Երևանցի talk 04:15, 3 November 2013 (UTC)

Are these reliable sources?

I want to write an article on P.K. Mohan also known as Mohanji.

Official website: [].

General coverage: [6][7][8][9].

The Power of Purity book: [10][11].

"Kailash with Mohanji" book release media coverage: [12][13][14][15].

Valedictory address by Mohanji at the The Life Positive Expo - 2012 in Mumbai: [16].

Mohanji's Charity organization Ammucare third party sources coverage: [17][18][19][20].

Mohanji as CEO of a Shipping Company coverage: [21][22][23].

Mohanji coverage in Serbian magazines: [24][25].

Please take your time to check the sources and let me know what you think. Thank you! Zlio2004 (talk) 13:01, 5 November 2013 (UTC)

I would recommend trying to find at least one source with higher readership. Andrew327 12:15, 5 November 2013 (UTC)
Thank you Andrew. Anyone else has an opinion on this? Zlio2004 (talk)

Polemical or Scholarly

Edward Granville Browne spent a year in Persia back in late 19th century during which he did some research on Bábism/Bahaism as well. In 1915 a Christian Missionary after staying in Persia for some time wrote another book on Bahaism in which he used Browne's findings. The book got a good review from Harvard Divinity School. The question is whether I can use this 1915 book (reprinted in 1970 By AMS Press Inc.) as a scholarly source for this edit. Thank you.--Kazemita1 (talk) 18:22, 5 November 2013 (UTC)

considering that the material is negative, and reported indirectly, that someone preached that another person had said that someone had told him the negative information, I do not see how it is encyclopedic content regardless of date. Equally important, there seems no direct relevance of the entire paragraph to the subject of the article DGG ( talk ) 04:14, 6 November 2013 (UTC)
Perhaps the edit did not elaborate enough why the content can be relevant to the article. Consider the following quote from the same page of that book:

After the Bab had declared the law of Islam abrogated and before he had promulgated new ordinances, there ensued a period of transition which we call fitrat(the interval), during which all things were lawful. So long as this continued, Kurrat-ul-Ayn (a.k.a. Tahirih) may possibly have consorted, for example, with Hazret-i-Kuddus, as though he had been her husband.

While Currently in the article all allegations are voided on the basis of being polemical the above confession from a Sheikh of the same faith sheds some light on that matter. Let me know what you think.--Kazemita1 (talk) 14:57, 6 November 2013 (UTC)
Much too old to be reliable. Itsmejudith (talk) 15:35, 6 November 2013 (UTC)
It is post-von Ranke isn't it?--Kazemita1 (talk) 18:44, 6 November 2013 (UTC)
It's from the colonial era and colonizing countries have axes to grind. From our article on Browne. "He is perhaps best known for his documentation and historical narratives of the Bábí movement as relayed by Count Gobineau." Yes, that's the Gobineau, the notorious scientific racist. Itsmejudith (talk) 23:37, 6 November 2013 (UTC)
If this were still 1915 it would be rs. But future scholarship may have invalidated some of the claims and therefore it should not be used. That is not to say that modern scholars may not find it useful as a primary source, which is possibly why it was re-published. TFD (talk) 00:19, 7 November 2013 (UTC)
  • I was careful to say no direct relationship. I did figure out what the rhetorical purpose of the material was, as an indirect attempt to blacken her character, but using it this way is WP:SYN. A modern discussion of the issue might clarify this in an acceptable way. DGG ( talk ) 22:11, 7 November 2013 (UTC)

linkedin profile of a site founder

User Loki racer added the LinkedIn link to the LokiTorrent page:

LokiTorrent was a BitTorrent indexing service operated by Edward Webber ("Lowkee")

Seems a pretty clear conflict with WP:LINKSTOAVOID, WP:QUESTIONABLE, and WP:SOURCES. It's not even there to back anything up -- just to link Webber's professional profile. Posting to RSN after the link was added for the fourth time. Not sure if this should maybe be over at ANV -- or COIN, based on the fact that the user appears to be the subject of the article.


  • added: 1, 2, 3, 4
  • removed: 1, 2, 3

--Rhododendrites (talk) 13:52, 6 November 2013 (UTC)

Unless I'm missing something, it isn't a source at all. Nowhere on the LinkedIn page does it state that "LokiTorrent was a BitTorrent indexing service operated by Edward Webber". It says nothing about LokiTorrent whatsoever. And no, even if it did say that, it would be a questionable and unnecessary source, given that third-party sourcing for the same thing is already available. AndyTheGrump (talk) 14:11, 6 November 2013 (UTC)
So it sounds like this is a better fit for ANV? I've already reverted 3 times already and the user seems to disagree that it's inappropriate. E.g. the last three edit summaries:
  • Undid revision 580240408 by Rhododendrites (talk) Nothing about this edit violates the External Links or Identifying reliable sources policies. Please stop removing this edit.
  • Undid revision 580270166 by Loki racer (talk) - pretty explicit, actually. see WP:LINKSTOAVOID #10, WP:QUESTIONABLE, and WP:SOURCES (or search the RS noticeboard for linkedin)
  • Undid revision 580285363 by Rhododendrites (talk) Nothing you linked to says that Linkedin is a bad reference. It's an original, unique, fact-checked source for this person's info.
--Rhododendrites (talk) 00:20, 7 November 2013 (UTC)

Biased political article used for quotation

A gentleman publishes a recording of himself making a controversial statement and small, biased, news organizations quote him saying it. Could someone please check these sources for being WP:RS? Please do so at Talk:Bryan_Fischer#Please_determine_whether_these_sources_are_WP:RS_for_this_content. Thanks. Blue Rasberry (talk) 00:14, 7 November 2013 (UTC)

People For the American Way is notable, Fischer self published the statements being sourced so there is no question as to being untrue. Sepsis II (talk) 23:50, 7 November 2013 (UTC)
As an involved editor, Sepsis II, your opinion is welcome, but not conclusive. There's been no consensus of several editors here that People for the American Way is generally reliable, or its Right Wing Watch blog, since it's not a news organization. I searched. It's an advocacy organization. We don't automatically call them (or their blogs) generally reliable, because it can be difficult to separate their reportage from their advocacy, depending on the article. So, I support asking the question here, requesting input from uninvolved editors:

Is this source ("Fischer: Michelle Obama Is Inviting Demons Into The White House". Right Wing Watch blog, People for the American Way. November 5, 2013.) reliable enough for this edit?
--Lexein (talk) 03:15, 8 November 2013 (UTC)
I'm uninvolved; I joined the "discussion" after this post was made here, you seem to be confusing reliability and notability for PAW, no reliability is needed as there is no question as to whether the statements were made, notability of PAW is what is required for inclusion. That said, this is probably not the right forum for this as this is not actually about the reliablity of the source but seems to be a hostile war of egos, please head to DRN. Sepsis II (talk) 13:05, 8 November 2013 (UTC)
You're involved because you edited the article, that's all - nothing hostile about it. So am I (involved), and I've done some RSN work here, too. So let's just get a 2nd or 3rd opinion of "Yes, reliable" or "No" and go from there. Please? No big deal. --Lexein (talk) 19:52, 8 November 2013 (UTC)
  • I'd like one or two other uninvolved RSN editors to reply to the specific question, please. Anyone else? I'll be quite satisfied with "yes" or "no" from uninvolved editors. Thanks.--Lexein (talk) 19:52, 8 November 2013 (UTC)
Uninvolved comment. BLP. You need better sources, e.g. CNN, Huff Post. Itsmejudith (talk) 12:18, 9 November 2013 (UTC)

RWW etc. are reliable only for statements of opinion ascribed as opinion - per the usual caveats about groups with specific strong political objectives. Historically, quotations may be taken "out of context" and thus the fact a person said specific words is not necessarily something usable on Wikipedia unless unrelated reliable sources also make use of them. IIRC, even a major news organisation can err -- vide NBC news on the Zimmerman police call which used his "words" but presented them in a misleading manner. To make claims as "fact" would require better sources less noted for editorializing. Cheers. Collect (talk) 12:59, 9 November 2013 (UTC)

The quotes can be found in the speakers own self published work, there is no question as to whether he said it. Sepsis II (talk) 17:24, 9 November 2013 (UTC)
And an independent reliable source has noted the precise context of any quotes, or are you just saying the words are "found" in the SPS? If the former, than a recognized "fact oriented" reliable source would be good, and should be findable if the information was deemed notable by such.. If the latter, third party sourcing is always better than sources which wish to make a point out of a quote. The Zimmerman "quotes" were verbatim -- but taken substantially out of context, IIRC. Cheers. Collect (talk) 17:52, 9 November 2013 (UTC)

I looked at the video -- and suggest the claims made are taken woefully out of the religious context of the presentation - which is that St. Paul described idols as demons or devils, and that those who worship idols are worshipping demons -- which is not all that odd for a religious speaker. Any more than saying that anyone who has recited the Apostle's Creed is a "creationist". Making an issue of a religious person advancing his own religion is rather non-encyclopedic -- a claim may be "true" but unless an impartial outside reliable source finds it noteworthy, neither will Wikipedia. Collect (talk) 20:21, 9 November 2013 (UTC)


Greetings, I'm looking for consensus on the propriety of using Newsmax as a source at Sean Maloney. Here's the edit. And here's the source. Thanks.CFredkin (talk) 21:58, 7 November 2013 (UTC)

Given this discussion, it seems like it should be acceptable.CFredkin (talk) 21:59, 7 November 2013 (UTC)
Looks fine to me for the simple claim being made.Two kinds of pork (talk) 01:30, 8 November 2013 (UTC)
I have some serious problems with this. The source itself is not neutral, and more importantly, is not very high quality. On purely journalistic grounds, they have earned a reputation for being sloppy with the facts when it suits them. Votes are something that should be easy to confirm and hard to get wrong, but it would still be better to find a more reliable source, one that hasn't been known to let bias stand in the way of facts. It should not be hard to find a more credible replacement.
My primary concern, though, is the statement in the edit, which is only partially true. According to, Maloney crossed party lines to oppose Obamacare, not only voting to delay it, but also to repeal part of it: the tax on medical devices. Yet you want to say that Maloney "voted against repeal", which is at best a half-truth. He voted against full repeal, but voted for a repeal of part.
In conclusion, find a better source and make a more accurate statement. MilesMoney (talk) 02:50, 8 November 2013 (UTC)
I was asked to chime in. I'm not sure we should be using Newsmax for anything. Thargor Orlando (talk) 04:40, 8 November 2013 (UTC)
Agreed, Newsmax shouldn't come anywhere near a Wikipedia article. Gamaliel (talk) 04:55, 8 November 2013 (UTC)
Actually, it appears to meet WP:RS just as many other sources with factual content which are perceived to have political overtones are -- the article does not appear to be "opinion" as far as I can tell, and simply not liking a source is never a sound reason for rejecting it. I am sure that if "according to Newsmax" were appended, there would be no reasonable cavil at all. BTW, voting to amend part of something is not the same as "voting to repeal" -- "repeal" is complete excision in normal language. Collect (talk) 12:48, 8 November 2013 (UTC)
I don't see how it meets WP:RS, to be honest. I'm not seeing the necessary accuracy or editorial oversight, and they play around with a lot of fringe stuff, especially in their political and science coverage. Thargor Orlando (talk) 13:53, 8 November 2013 (UTC)

User:MilesMoney,User:Thargor Orlando: How is Newsmax different from Talking Points Memo?CFredkin (talk) 05:02, 8 November 2013 (UTC) (Regardless, this noticeboard is for discussion regarding source reliability, not for the accuracy of a particular statement. In this case, that is indisputable.)CFredkin (talk) 05:17, 8 November 2013 (UTC) Personally, I'm just looking for a level playing field here. To me, Newsmax and TPM seem pretty comparable. I'm fine with both being reliable, or both being unreliable.CFredkin (talk) 05:55, 8 November 2013 (UTC)

TPM is an award-winning journalistic enterprise that, while having a point of view, keeps up with basic journalistic practices. Newsmax is a journalistic enterprise, yes, but it's more of a political tabloid. The true Newsmax left-wing analogue would be something like Truthout or ThinkProgress. Thargor Orlando (talk) 13:53, 8 November 2013 (UTC)

I fail to see why Newsmax inst a sufficient source for this particular piece of information. WeldNeck (talk) 14:31, 8 November 2013 (UTC)

This gets into philosophical questions - how much support does a true statement need? It's true anyways. But Newsmax is not a reliable source in general, and hence should be avoided even for uncontroversial facts. --Stephan Schulz (talk) 17:09, 8 November 2013 (UTC)
The awards that TPM has received were for advocacy not for their standards of professional journalism. I don't see how the standards of journalism differ between TPM and Newsmax....CFredkin (talk) 17:02, 8 November 2013 (UTC)
I don't know much about TPM, being a rightpondian. But the George Polk Awards are indeed given out for reporting, not for activism. --Stephan Schulz (talk) 17:14, 8 November 2013 (UTC)
There is no reasonable justification for this particular article not to be considered reliable for the fact in question. John Gizzi, the author of the article is an established journalist. That being said, there are probably a dozen other sources out there that also support this statement. It might be a better use of OP's time and energy to just go with one of those.Two kinds of pork (talk) 20:34, 8 November 2013 (UTC)
It seems like a source that doesn't repeatedly run "exposes" on President Obama's birth certificate could be used for a claim this simple, doesn't it? -Kudzu1 (talk) 05:22, 11 November 2013 (UTC)

Three Movie Buffs

I already know the answer to this is going to be a resounding no, I think. But while I'm trying to track down a 1912 source that may or may not still physically exist, I'd like to make sure that I'm not being unduly hard on my sourcing expectations:

Source: Patrick Nash's review and commentary of A Cure for Pokeritis at Three Movie Buffs[26]
Article: A Cure for Pokeritis, although not in use there currently.
Content: I've got a 1912 source on deck that essentially describes cousin Freddie as effeminate. I'd like to have a modern source that discusses that as well, since a lot of the other critical commentary about the film is based on its treatment of gender expectations. Sadly, the better treatments of this film mostly ignore the character in question, and the several excellent works on gay characters in silent film don't mention this work (as they tend to focus more on the flamboyant period "sissy" characters ... and to examine feature films rather than Vitagraph comedy shorts, anyway). Can I cite the following text as confirmation that this character is effeminate, and that modern audiences might perceive him as homosexual?

The cousin Teddy [sic] character represents another common stereotype. He is fastidious and effeminate, has fussy hand movements, belongs to a bible study group and clearly deplores poker. He immediately takes the wife’s side in the situation. Any modern audience would see him as obviously gay.

The site is obviously an independent-citizen movie review site, whose reviewers have no particular film studies qualifications, by their own admission. However, it has considerable longevity and some measure of recognition (Rotten Tomatoes considers it a source of reviews, at least sometimes[27]) and a master's thesis (itself insufficient to be a reliable source) cites it as an example of movie reviews shifting to citizen journalism in the online era.[28] Bleh. Typing that out really makes this look meager, but there we go. Is that enough for this source to be acceptable to bookend the 1912 observation? Squeamish Ossifrage (talk) 16:58, 8 November 2013 (UTC)

Digital Journal

Digital Journal is a Canada-based website which describes itself as "a global digital media network with thousands of members and content creators in 200 countries around the world... A media business where everyone can contribute and engage... a platform and a destination where everyone can contribute content and share their unique perspectives on the world and issues of the day"[29] Is it correct to regard this site as a blog, rather than as a regular news source? Under what circumstances, and in what manner, can material be used in articles, if the only source is Digital Journal? Can it ever be used as a reliable source in a biography of a living person? In particular, can it be used as a reliable source for the unattributed assertion that Unite Against Fascism is "believed to be a front group for the far-left extremist Socialist Workers Party,” and that it planned “to counter demonstrate and disrupt rallies in memory of Lee Rigby"?[30] RolandR (talk) 17:22, 8 November 2013 (UTC)

Not reliable. As you say, like a blog, or worse, a wiki. Itsmejudith (talk) 12:12, 9 November 2013 (UTC)

The Investigative Project on Terrorism

Is Steven Emerson's "Investigative Project on Terrorism" a reliable source for BLP's? Emerson was awarded a Polk Award for his work on terrorism. WeldNeck (talk) 21:00, 8 November 2013 (UTC)

I'm not sure (and by coincidence, I created the article, which was previously a redirect to Emerson...). There's certainly evidence against, eg here. And whilst the project employing a former Tampa Tribune reporter speaks against the impression one can easily get from Googling that it's basically a one-man show (the man being Emerson), there's also this. In general, I'm not fan of debates that try to boil something down to whether X and Y are "reliable sources" or not - it invariably seems to oversimplify. I suspect that in context whatever IPT is claiming can be included with explicit in-text attribution to them, and that the issue is whether to imply that IPT's claim is true by relying on it without that explicit attribution... Feel free to elaborate. Podiaebba (talk) 21:32, 8 November 2013 (UTC)
Thanks for the reply. This be in regard to the Sami Al-Arian article. No one has written more on the subject than Emerson has but he isnt used as a source anywhere in the article. WeldNeck (talk) 21:39, 8 November 2013 (UTC)
There's a whole section on Emerson's work though - Sami_Al-Arian#Emerson_film_and_investigation. But given that Al-Arian was convicted, I'm not sure how controversial any additions sourced to Emerson could be. At worst, substantive additions might raise WP:UNDUE issues (which I would generally seek to address by adding info, not subtracting, though with this article's lengths and details that might require undoing the recent merger). Podiaebba (talk) 22:24, 8 November 2013 (UTC)
I do not think that the SPS bar would apply. But whether or how a source should be used depends on circumstances. TFD (talk) 22:10, 8 November 2013 (UTC)
  • The Polk Award is a serious journalism award. I would expect that Emerson would be seen as an RS journalist, and his work treated appropriately as RS. And as to that particular article, Podiaebba makes a good point. Al-Arian signed a plea agreement in which he agreed to plead guilty to one count of conspiracy to contribute services to or for the benefit of a Specially Designated Terrorist organization. However -- if you read the lede and headings in the article, it appears that someone has worked to leave a different impression. Needs fixing by someone.--Epeefleche (talk) 23:42, 8 November 2013 (UTC)

Reliability of references to Gerald Steinberg and to his NGO Monitor

  • The following is a compendium of Wikipedia articles that contain statements by Gerald M. Steinberg or by his organization, NGO Monitor. Both have been known for their skewed analysis of Human Rights Organizations and other organizations, all that are involved in the Israeli-Palestinian or Israeli-Arab Conflict. Gerald Steinberg and some of his employees are frequent contributors to the right wing and conservative Jewish and Israeli press, opposing compromise and opposing human rights organizations, and use the services of some extreme right wing journalists in papers such as J. Post, who base their articles on information from NGO Monitor.
  • All of those are highly non-reliable sources, and the reliability of NGO Monitor and of its founder and president is hereby questioned. It should be clear however, thay NGO Monitor and Gerald Steinberg, for the sake of publications, are one and the same.
  • Recently, Steinberg’s main on-line editor was indefinitely banned from any editing on subjects related to the Israel-Arab conflict. User:soosim was involved in many or most of the following introductions of critical information of organizations, individuals and other.
  • My request is to Wikipedia editors to examine the extended information presented below in its details and as a whole, and to make a decision on the reliability of references, links and other sources by Gerald Steinberg and by NGO Monitor.
  • To make things easy to follow, each article title is followed by the controversial text and the reference number/s, as well as by the numbered references. In some case, where the sources are “external links” or “additional materials” this is also clearly marked. In some articles (all marked with ARTICLE:) there is more than a single text/reference. IN a few cases, it is not clear why NGO Monitor is mentioned, see my Q:
  • There are many more mentions of NGO Monitor sources and of Gerald Steinberg, including on their own articles. The promotional character of those articles is also questioned, while the information presented below is an extension of that promotional character.
  • The following present a mixture of several problems for editing on Wikipedia. Most of them are problems reflecting WP:RS guidelines – WP:BIASED, WP:QUESTIONABLE, WP:SPS as well as WP:NPOV.
  • I wish to clarify, that although I would probably sympathize with some of the criticisms by NGO Monitor of organizations and of individuals, this has nothing to do with the issue of reliability of sources, which is the only one questioned here.

extended list

ARTICLE: +972 Magazine

NGO Monitor criticized +972 as being antisemitic "because it seeks to strip the Jewish state of its legitimacy" by using the apartheid analogy regarding Israel.[4]

[4] NGO Monitor slams funding of ‘+972’ blog (


NGO Monitor said that B'tselem distorts its data and uses "abusive and demonizing rhetoric designed to elicit political support for Palestinians".[56]

[56] ^ Betselem: Report Uses Outdated Sources and the Rhetoric of Demonization ( , NGO Monitor Analysis (Vol. 2 No. 12), 15 August 2004.


NGO monitor has been critical of Yesh Din's activities.[8]

[8] ^ "NGO Monitor slams Belgium funds for ‘anti-Israel’ group"

( . The Jerusalem Post. 14 August 2011.

ARTICLE: Criticism of Amnesty International

Gerald Steinberg, of NGO Monitor, said that the report was tied to the recent Palestinian hunger strikes and that AI “jumped on the bandwagon to help their Palestinian allies.”[24] Steinberg also pointed out that one of the researchers, Deborah Hyams was not a neutral party, saying that “Hyams has volunteered as a ‘human shield’ in Beit Jala (near Bethlehem) to deter Israeli military responses to gunfire and mortars targeting Jewish civilians in Jerusalem,” and that “in 2008 she signed a letter claiming Israel is 'a state founded on terrorism, massacres and the dispossession of another people from their land.'[25]

{24] ^ 'Amnesty administrative detention report PR gimmick' ( [25] ^ 'Amnesty report against Israel written by pro-Palestinian activists' (

ARTICLE: The Electronic Intifada

Gerald M. Steinberg, head of the pro-Israel NGO Monitor, described Electronic Intifada as "an explicitly pro-Palestinian political and ideological Web site".[7] that hosts "anti-Israel propaganda."[8]

[7] ^ "Human Rights Watch needs watching" ( , Gerald M. Steinberg, The Jewish Week, March 25, 2005 [8] ^ "Ken Roth's blood libel ( &pagename=JPost/JPArticle/ShowFull) , Jerusalem Post, August 26, 20067.

ARTICLE: International Federation of Human Rights

FIDH's mandate “is to contribute to the respect of all the rights defined in the Universal Declaration of Human Rights.” It aims to make “effective improvements in the protection of victims, the prevention of Human Rights violations and the sanction of their perpetrators.”[1]

[1] ^

Q: Why is the FIDH mandate attributed to an NGO Monitor site ?? FIDH’s finances lack transparency, as funding sources are not itemized on its website or in financial statements, and no response was received to letters requesting this information. Instead, FIDH lists general figures and provides a financial summary: “FIDH relies heavily on donations from the public and from private businesses, contributions from its member organizations and on the commitment of its voluntary workers. It also receives grants from international and national bodies, and from foundations...”[3]

3. ^ Report "FIDH: Prioritizing Politics over Protection" ( , NGO Monitor, 2006

ARTICLE: Daniel Machover

Machover represents the Palestinian Centre for Human Rights, a Gaza-based NGO, which, according to Anne Herzberg, legal adviser to NGO Monitor, is "leading the lawfare strategy."[4]

4. ^ Lawfare Against Israel ( )

ARTICLE: Anne Bayefsky

She has also argued that Human Rights Watch "fanned the flames of racial intolerance" in the lead-up to the Durban Conference by facilitating the exclusion of Jewish representatives from an NGO caucus, later covering up its role in the affair and misrepresenting the outcome to the media.[9]

9. ^ "Human Rights Watch Coverup" ( .

External Links

Human Rights Watch Coverup (

ARTICLE: Marc Garlasco

Gerald M. Steinberg, in an op-ed in the Ottawa Citizen, wrote that while HRW had promised an investigation, it has not offered any information about it to the public, or addressed the issue of the credibility of Garlasco's reports on Israeli human rights violations.[42]

42. ^ Ottawa Citizen The sad state of 'human rights' organizations, ( , Gerald Steinberg, March 14, 2010

ARTICLE: Hamoked The state attorney's statements received support from Gerald M. Steinberg of NGO Monitor[4]

[4] Gerald M. Steinberg (11 March 2006). "Challenging the NGO mythology - HaMoked and B'Tselem have been accused of besmirching the state and its security forces". The Jerusalem Post.

ARTICLE: Israeli Committee Against House Demolitions (ICAHD) In a July 2012 letter to the president of the European Commission, José Manuel Barroso, Steinberg wrote that ICAHD is a "fringe political NGO that fuels conflict by frequently accusing Israel of ‘apartheid’ and ‘ethnic cleansing.’ ICAHD officials are also active in promoting BDS [boycotts, divestment and sanctions] campaigns, particularly in churches in Europe and North America."[31] Steinberg also said that "In reality, ICAHD does nothing to advance coexistence and instead promotes extreme views which fuel theconflict."[32]

31. ^ 'Peace mustn't become ‘orphan’ of Arab Spring' ( id=276734) 32. ^ EU ends funding for ICAHD (

ARTICLE: Naim Ateek

In addition, Daniel Fink, writing on behalf of NGO Monitor, shows that Ateek has described Zionism as a “step backward in the development of Judaism,” and Zionists as “oppressors and war makers.”[25]

25. ^ Sabeel’s ‘Peace’ façade (,7340,L-3464067,00.html)

ARTICLE: Kenneth Roth

Kenneth Roth has been criticized by the Jerusalem-based NGO Monitor for allegedly being biased against Israel. Gerald M. Steinberg has been a long-time critic of Roth's role as head of Human Rights Watch from 1993. Writing in a 2004 Jerusalem Post article[28]

28. ^ "Israelis Have No 'Human Rights'" (http://www-ngo ) By Gerald M. Steinberg, March 08, 2004, The Jerusalem Post


Gerald Steinberg, president of NGO Monitor, said, "If, as in 2001, the same NGOs are provided a platform in New York at 'Durban III', this will set the stage for another round of activities that exploit and undermine the moral and human rights agenda."[46]

46. ^ Concerns growing over NGO participation in Durban III (

ARTICLE: Boycott, Divestments and Sanctions Naftali Balanson, writing a response, says "Even if BDS messaging were improved and there was no backlash among 'besieged' Israelis, BDS would still be immoral and inherently wrong."[104]

104. ^ Balanson, Naftali (2010-11). "Moral Argument Against BDS" ( . ZEEK (The Jewish Daily Forward). Retrieved 6 March 2011.

In an op-ed published in The Jerusalem Post in November 2010, Gerald Steinberg and Jason Edelstein contend that while "the need to refute their [BDS organizations] allegations is clear, students and community groups must also adopt a proactive strategy to undermine the credibility and influence of these groups. This strategy will marginalize many of the BDS movement's central actors, and expose the lie that BDS is a grassroots protest against Israeli policy. Exposing their abuses and funding sources, and forcing their campaign leaders and participants to respond to us will change the dynamic in this battle."[105]

105. ^ By G. Steinberg and J. Edelstein (6 November 2010). "Turning the tables on BDS," ( . Retrieved 13 December 2010.

ARTICLE: List of Projects Supported by George Soros

Center for Constitutional Rights[3]

[3] ^ NGO Monitor ( Q: (why is NGO Monitor used as a source ?)

ARTICLE: War on Want

NGO Monitor's Dan Kosky wrote that due to War on Want's support of an Israel boycott and its stand against the British presence in Iraq, a thorough review of the organization should be conducted by the UK regarding funding, for "if not, the United Kingdom could find itself aiding an Israel boycott campaign."[18]

18. ^ Where War on Want is itself found wanting ( )

ARTICLE: Breaking the Silence According to NGO Monitor, the testimony is anonymous, without dates, locations or contexts for the incidents described and included 183 incidents that were submitted by alleged soldiers, but only 16 were reported to the Israel Defense Force superiors at the time.[43]

43. ^ a b Lori Lowenthal Marcus (30 March 2013). "Penn Hillel Provided Platform to Venomous ‘Breaking The Silence’" (

ARTICLE: Human Rights in Israel

According to Gerald Steinberg, the attempt to label Israel an apartheid state is "the embodiment of the new antisemitism that seeks to deny the Jewish people the right of equality and self-determination.".[128]

128. ^ a b Steinberg, Gerald M. (28 August 2004). "The Apartheid Propaganda" ( . Retrieved 2010-07-22.

Amnesty International (AI) has been accused by the American Jewish Congress and NGO Monitor of having a double standard when it comes to its assessment of Israel. [197]

197. ^ Getting human rights wrong (


Although Adalah-NY is not financially transparent,[2]

[2] ^ a b c "Adalah-NY" ( NGO Monitor.

ARTICLE: Palestinian Center for Human Rights

According to Anne Herzberg, legal adviser to NGO Monitor, PCHR is "leading the lawfare strategy."[12]

12. ^ Lawfare Against Israel (

External Links NGO Monitor Lawfare Monograph


ARTICLE: World Conference Against Racism 2001 Critics described the description of Israel as apartheid as the "Durban Strategy". They claim that this comparison was made with the intention of causing and encouraging divestment from and boycott of Israel.[16]

16. ^ Steinberg, Gerald (15 June 2006). "Anti-Israel obsessions" ( . Canadian Jewish News (United Jewish Communities)

Analysis and greater detail

Steinberg (Summer 2006). "The Centrality of NGOs in The Durban Strategy" ( (PDF). Yale Israel Journal (Yale College undergraduates) 9. — an analysis of the NGO Forum by the Executive Director of NGO Monitor

Gerald M. Steinberg (10 August 2005). "ACADEMIC FREEDOM AND THE AUT BOYCOTT CAMPAIGN: EXAMINING THE LESSONS" ( %20boycott%20jcpa%20draft.pdf) (PDF). Conference of the National Postgraduate Committee, UK , Glasgow. 2005-08-12. p. 8.

ARTICLE: Israel European Union Relations

The European Union has been criticized for funding Israeli-based political Non-Governmental Organisations (NGOs) that attempt to undermine Israeli policies and preach "division and confrontation".[20] NGO Monitor claims they have identified over 48 million dollars that have been allocated to Israeli and Palestinian NGOs by the European Commission.[21] As a response, the Israeli Knesset attempted to pass two bills that would limit the amount that a foreign government or organization could gift. However, these two bills were never passed into law.[22]

20. ^ Funding Israel's Detractors. Wall Street Journal ( 21. ^ throws out NGO funding case brought by Israel-based watchdog. Times of Israel ( 22. ^ Factious funding. Jpost. 2011. (

ARTICLE: Birthright Unplugged

According to NGO Monitor, "much of the substance of these tours and programs is provided by officials from radical anti-Israel NGOs".[4]

[4] ^ "NGOs and Birthright Unplugged: Plugging into anti-Israel campaigning" (

ARTICLE: Christine Chanet

In the view of NGO Monitor, “Chanet has formed pre-existing prejudicial opinions on areas directly covered by the Mission mandate.”


ARTICLE: List of Palestinian Civilian Casualties in the Second Intifada

Other sources assert that B'tselem's definition of a civilian is too broad and includes Palestinians killed while attacking Israelis.[7]

7. ^ Betselem: Report Uses Outdated Sources and the Rhetoric of Demonization ( NGO Monitor Analysis (Vol. 2 No. 12), 15 August 2004.

ARTICLE: Durban Review Conference

External Link Durban Conference 2009 ( at NGO Monitor

ARTICLE: Palestinian Christians

Daniel Fink, writing on behalf of NGO Monitor, shows that Sabeel leader Naim Ateek has described Zionism as a “step backward in the development of Judaism,” and Zionists as “oppressors and war makers.”[39][40]

39. ^ Sabeel’s ‘Peace’ façade (,7340,L-3464067,00.html) 40. ^ Updating the Ancient Infrastructure of Christian Contempt: Sabeel Footnotes 36-47 ( 44. ^ (

ARTICLE: International Solidarity Movement

NGO Monitor said that ISM "has a long record of encouraging activists to take ‘direct action’ that often places them in danger and in direct confrontations with the IDF."[59][60][61]

Q: (None are references to NGO Monitor)

ARTICLE: Foreign and Commonwealth Office

In 2012, the Foreign Office was criticised by Gerald Steinberg, of the Jerusalem-based research institute, NGO Monitor, saying that the Foreign Office and the Department for International Development to Palestinian NGOs provided more than £500,000 in funding to Palestinian NGOs which he says "promote political attacks on Israel." In response, a spokesman for the Foreign Office said, “we are very careful about who and what we fund. The objective of our funding is to support efforts to achieve a two-state solution. Funding a particular project for a limited period of time does not mean that we endorse every single action or public comment made by an NGO or by its employees.”[12]

12. ^ ‘Investigate UK funding of Palestinian NGOs' (

ARTICLE: Sabeel Ecumenical Liberation Theology Center

It has also been accused of using antisemitic rhetoric.[4] [4] Gerald M. Steinberg. Cut the cash, end the hostility (

External Links NGO Monitor study (

ARTICLE: Criticism of Amnesty International

Gerald Steinberg, of NGO Monitor, said that the report was tied to the recent Palestinian hunger strikes and that AI “jumped on the bandwagon to help their Palestinian allies.”[24] Steinberg also pointed out that one of the researchers, Deborah Hyams was not a neutral party, saying that “Hyams has volunteered as a ‘human shield’ in Beit Jala (near Bethlehem) to deter Israeli military responses to gunfire and mortars targeting Jewish civilians in Jerusalem,” and that “in 2008 she signed a letter claiming Israel is 'a state founded on terrorism, massacres and the dispossession of another people from their land.'[25]

24. ^ 'Amnesty administrative detention report PR gimmick' ( 25. ^ 'Amnesty report against Israel written by pro-Palestinian activists' (

ARTICLE: Jewish Voice for Peace

In July 2013, j. published an article about a report on JVP from NGO Monitor. The article noted that NGO Monitor's report "concludes that JVP has 'actively promoted the central dimensions of the political warfare strategy against Israel.'” The article quoted Yitzhak Santis, chief programs officer at NGO Monitor, as saying "the organization supports or has partnered with groups such as Sabeel, Electronic Intifada, Al-Awda, International ANSWER Coalition, the International Solidarity Movement and Students for Justice in Palestine, all of which label Israel a racist apartheid state, support BDS and, in some cases, support violence against Israelis." [33] [33] ^ BDS backer bumped from Heroes contest (

ARTICLE: Criticism of Human Rights Watch

On 7 September 2010, it was announced that George Soros planned to donate 100 million US dollars to Human Rights Watch.[7] Soros's donation was criticized by Gerald Steinberg, the founder of the pro-Israel research organization NGO Monitor.[8]

Political Science Professor and former consultant to the Israeli Ministry of Foreign Affairs Gerald M. Steinberg of Bar Ilan University, head of NGO Monitor, a pro-Israel NGO[32] accused HRW of having "a strong anti-Israel bias from the beginning".[33] He claimed their reports were based primarily on "Palestinian eyewitness testimony" — testimony that is "not accurate, objective or credible but serves the political goal of indicting Israel".[34]

8. ^ Steinberg, Gerald (2010-09-12). "Selling Out to Soros by Prof. Gerald Steinberg" ( . Retrieved 2013-01-28.

33. ^ Gerald M. Steinberg, Jerusalem Post, 25 January 2009, For HRW, Israel is always guilty ( 34. ^ Steinberg, Gerald (2009-09-03). "Op-Ed: Who are Israel’s accusers? | JTA - Jewish & Israel News" ( . JTA. Retrieved 2013-01-28. Links: NGO Monitor: HRW in 2011 - More Balance, Less Credibility (

ARTICLE:Palestinian Youth Association for Leadership And Rights Activation

NGO Monitor criticized PYALARA's publishing of two articles for children which glorified Palestinian terrorism. One was about Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine leader Abu Ali Mustafa, calling him "a political leader ... whose history prides his nationalistic activism," without mentioning anything of his activities in planning and carrying out terrorist acts. The other article, referred to suicide bombers as "young Palestinians who have willingly sacrificed their lives in the name of their homeland." In addition, NGO Monitor criticized PYALARA for using funds “donated explicitly for non-political and non-violent projects in order to promote blatantly political objectives, including the indirect support for terror attacks on civilians."[1]

1. ^ Palestinian Poster Calling for Israel Boycott Includes Logo of U.N. Agency (

External links NGO Monitor article ( Retrieved

ARTICLE: The HALO effect

The term "halo effect" has been applied to human rights organizations that have used their status to move away from their stated goals. Political scientist Gerald Steinberg has claimed that non-governmental organizations (NGOs) take advantage of the "halo effect" and are "given the status of impartial moral watchdogs" by governments and the media.[14][15]

14 Jeffray, Nathan (24 June 2010). "Interview: Gerald Steinberg". The Jewish Chronicle. 15 Balanson, Naftali (8 October 2008). "The 'halo effect' shields NGOs from media scrutiny". The Jerusalem Post.

Further reading: Steinberg, Gerald M (30 December 2009). "Human Rights NGOs Need a Monitor". The Jewish Daily Forward.

ARTICLE: Israel and the apartheid analogy

Opponents of the analogy claim it is intended to delegitimize Israel.[13]

13. ^ a b The Apartheid Propaganda ( Gerald M. Steinberg

In an op-ed for the Jerusalem Post, Gerald Steinberg, Professor of Political Studies at Bar Ilan University, argued that "Ethno-national disputes, occupation, and charges of discrimination against minorities are also part of the conflicts in Northern Ireland, Cyprus, Kosovo and Bosnia, Sri Lanka, India/Pakistan, etc., but the demonization campaign is unique to Israel. ... Indeed, the racism and denial of legitimacy characteristic of apartheid are actually applicable to Arab and Islamic rejection of Jewish rights . ... By screaming 'apartheid' at every opportunity, the leaders of this campaign have succeeded in burying data showing that [the security] barrier has saved the lives of many Israelis. In today's immoral political doublespeak, protecting Israelis from terror has become 'apartheid."[261]

261. ^ Steinberg, Gerald M. Abusing 'Apartheid' for the Palestinian Cause ( , Jerusalem Post, 24 August 2004.

רסטיניאק (talk) 12:34, 9 November 2013 (UTC)רסטיניאק

I share Rastignac's concerns here. Indeed, I have recently removed several defamatory assertions, sourced to NGO Monitor, from one of the articles he lists above. The problem is not that the source is partisan; there are plenty of acceptable partisan sources, representing both sides in this conflict, which should be allowed to remain in articles. But NGO Monitor is different; its entire raison d'etre is to defame and smear those it considers to be hostile, or insufficiently loyal, to Zionism and the state of Israel. Nothing it says about its targets can be accepted as reliable, even if, as Rastignac argues, it may occasionally make a valid criticism. In that case, such a criticism could be found in a reliable source, which could be cited in a Wikipedia article. But when the sole source for a contentious assessment or assertion is NGO Monitor, we should definitely not repeat this. RolandR (talk) 17:37, 9 November 2013 (UTC)
I share the same concerns. We shouldn't treat NGO monitor as a reliable source. bobrayner (talk) 19:04, 9 November 2013 (UTC)

This column would appear to be a sensationalist treatment of celebrity deaths. How reliable is it in terms of categorizing the deaths as "unusual", thus supporting this edit to List of unusual deaths? Given that it includes such mundane instances as falling off a roof, hanging oneself with a belt, a ruptured appendix, and falling when a safety harness broke, I would have to say that the inclusion in the list was based on the fame of the deceased more than any actual determination that the deaths were "unusual".—Kww(talk) 00:43, 10 November 2013 (UTC)

Beyond basic criteria, I don't see how you can divide sources into reliable and unreliable on the question of whether a death is "unusual". What kind of expertise or fact-checking would a source be expected to have? Maybe that's a reason for us not to have a bullet-point list article on the topic. But, so long as we have one, an unusual death is surely any death that someone thinks is unusual (?). Formerip (talk) 00:50, 10 November 2013 (UTC)
I could at least countenance using sources that made an effort to do statistical analysis and historical research, but no, "it's unusual because someone thinks it is" doesn't pass my threshold of being reliably sourced information.—Kww(talk) 01:01, 10 November 2013 (UTC)
OK, so we restrict ourselves to sources that have carried our a statistical analysis and historical research and, presumably, we end up deleting the article as unsourced. Formerip (talk) 01:19, 10 November 2013 (UTC)
I wouldn't consider that to be an undesirable outcome, but the fact that there are no reliable sources for membership in the list is not considered to be a valid argument for deletion of the list as a whole. It can only be accomplished the tedious and slow way: item by item, source by source.—Kww(talk) 01:37, 10 November 2013 (UTC)
(edit conflict)The Daily Telegraph is a respected news organization and is considered a reliable source for Wikipedia's purposes. The real issue here is the topic: whether a death is unusual is a subjective determination, and different sources are likely to have different opinions on which deaths are considered unusual. I would suggest that a way to handle this is with tightening the inclusion criteria, such as requiring multiple reliable sources for each item, or at least for the items are that contested. A Quest For Knowledge (talk) 01:12, 10 November 2013 (UTC)
That effort is underway as well. It hasn't been warmly embraced by people who desire to expand the article, and it still leaves us with the problem of sources like this. I agree that The Daily Telegraph is a well-respected source, but sources aren't necessarily considered reliable for all things. I would suggest that the opinions of the celebrity desk photo editor on what constitutes an "unusual" death fall outside of what we would consider the Telegraph to be a reliable source for. At best they represent an opinion, and thus could only source a statement like "the celebrity desk photo editor of The Daily Telegraph believes ...".—Kww(talk) 01:21, 10 November 2013 (UTC)
Honestly, after looking at the 7 AfDs and the current deletion review, I'm not sure RSN can help out here. The issues seem larger than just one source or type of source. Have you tried Wikipedia:Dispute resolution noticeboard or WP:Requests for mediation? A Quest For Knowledge (talk) 02:32, 10 November 2013 (UTC)
I think that we are in a position where we can't deal with the whole issue at once, because few are willing to recognize that it's both possible and probable that this list can never be repaired. The only way that I think will work is to handle it one source and one line item at a time, getting consensus that this particular photo desk editor or that particular music reviewer or that particular columnist cannot be considered a sufficiently reliable source to classify a death as "unusual". Sooner or later a set of precedents will develop that will allow us to dispose of whole classes of sources (like "celebrity photo desks", "gossip columns", "pseudo news columns devoted to calling things 'weird'", etc.). Who knows, I may get a surprise and find that there are two or three items that actually belong on the list.—Kww(talk) 03:06, 10 November 2013 (UTC)


We haven't had one external comment yet at my post above in case anyone has a moment! We did an RFC earlier which is linked in that post if anyone's curious. -Darouet (talk) 16:36, 10 November 2013 (UTC)

Wind direction on the night of Syrian gas attacks, and the source supporting it

We have a source dispute on the page for the Ghouta chemical attack, which occurred early in the morning on 21 August 2013. Content added here using this article from the New Scientist argues, quoting Richard Guthrie, that the night of the chemical attacks was the one night that week in which wind blew east: away from government soldiers, and towards rebels.

The statement hasn't been reported elsewhere, so far as we can find, and it's not clear how reliable or what kind of a news source the "New Scientist" is. Because I study climate, perhaps, I was a little skeptical of the claim: at a given site and time period, you'll usually see one or two dominant wind patterns, and see that change with seasons. So after editors began arguing about the veracity of the statement, I went to the NOAA, which has the largest available database on this and is regularly used for research or practical purposes globally. According to the site, wind did blow ENE on the night of the Ghouta attacks. However, and you can check this yourselves, wind also blew that direction every day of that week, and of that month. It turns out that the average wind direction at the site over the last 5 years is 245, or ENE.

All Syria civil war related articles are under sanctions because the issue is politically charged. I have the impression that efforts to retain the statement using the New Scientist source, invoking WP:V and WP:RS, amount to WP:GAMING because retaining the information seems to violate WP:COMMONSENSE. Input would be appreciated. -Darouet (talk) 19:32, 8 November 2013 (UTC)

A relevant discussion on the talk pages can be found here. -Darouet (talk) 19:37, 8 November 2013 (UTC)
"it's not clear how reliable or what kind of a news source the "New Scientist" is." - well New Scientist is easily a reliable enough source for Guthrie's claim. The issue is that it's merely reporting Guthrie's claim, which appears to be contradicted by NOAA data. I've been part of this discussion at the relevant article, but I still feel it bears pointing out to a potentially new audience that Guthrie's highly damning claim was published 2 days before the US Government Assessment, in an article with a highly relevant title in a fairly prominent and widely available non-academic science journal - yet the Assessment doesn't include it. (Nor has the US Govt ever used the claim since then to back up its argument.) In the circumstances, I feel this is extremely strong "dog that didn't bark" evidence that the claim is wrong. Podiaebba (talk) 19:43, 8 November 2013 (UTC)
Sorry for the deluge of text, but here is a response from a non-involved editor to our last RFC that I think is particularly relevant: '(responding to bot-generated RFC): Fails WP:RS for total of five reasons: Cannot add a hearsay of a statement from a non-expert in weather when there are no references where the weather data were taken, so that we can verify. No additional sources found so fat to corroborate the statement. Evidence of contrary found in a factual source. (Hearsay issue: countless cases are known when a phrase "was a day of the week" may magically convert into "was the only day of the week"). Staszek Lem (talk) 01:01, 5 November 2013 (UTC)' I think this well summarizes the problem. -Darouet (talk) 19:46, 8 November 2013 (UTC)
A quick look (I commented in the RFC) is that Guthrie is of course a Reliable Source on the topic. Weight of the claim and how to treat a quick claim right after the event happened versus a much more authoritative source (the UN) which issued a major report (which certainly would have looked at wind patterns, but didn't emphasize it as evidence), is another thing entirely. And probably should lead to the claim being removed. AbstractIllusions (talk) 02:33, 11 November 2013 (UTC)
@Darouet: I really do not think there is any need to imply editors are gaming in this case. This is a judgement call, in my opinion a close one. We have a reliable source making a claim, but only one source has made the claim. Meanwhile, the primary sources appear to contradict the reliable source, though there are some complicating factors that make interpretation of the primary sources problematic re WP:SYNTH (ie the chemical strikes were closer to upwind mountains than the weather station). VQuakr (talk) 04:46, 11 November 2013 (UTC)
That's basically where I am on this as well. I'd like to be able to qualify Guthrie's claim in-text, but I'm not seeing reliable secondary sources that explicitly contradict it; at the same time, we should probably recognize that the fog-of-war may be relevant here. I don't want to pull the statement altogether, because what we have here is a credible source reporting a relevant statement by someone who I think is universally recognized as an expert on situations like this. But nor do I want this claim to have undue weight, as it hasn't been widely repeated and primary data doesn't back it up, even if it doesn't necessarily contradict it (for the reasons VQuakr outlines). -Kudzu1 (talk) 05:00, 11 November 2013 (UTC)
Hi VQuakr, Kudzu1, both of you have made strong cases on the talk page, and it seems clear you have the best interest of the encyclopedia in mind (not that I have a crystal ball - that's just my feeling). So I'm sorry - I didn't meant to implicate you two in my statement. Unfortunately I wouldn't say the same of some editors, though to be fair, for every partisan editing for one side of this conflict, you'll find another editing for the other. Your concerns over the NOAA data's relevance to Guthrie's claim on the talk page are well-reasoned and have made me less certain. What the NOAA data shows, nevertheless, is that wind direction on the night of the attack was the same as the mean weekly, monthly, and 5-year wind direction at the nearest met station, 8-10 miles away. Without any knowledge of how Guthrie could have acquired (apparently) conflicting information, and without repetition by other sources, the statement is highly problematic; in my view it's likely wrong. Right now, as opposed to earlier, the article qualifies the statement and doesn't present it as a fact. That's an improvement at least. -Darouet (talk) 19:47, 11 November 2013 (UTC)
New Scientist is a science magazine and a good source for science news. Not much good beyond that. WP:RECENT applies to the war in Syria. if facts aren't on the BBC or CNN you have to wonder why not. What is the impact if this is left out? Itsmejudith (talk) 01:01, 12 November 2013 (UTC)

Journal of Virology

I added content about two Human coronaviruses as the source of the common cold to the Common cold article. I cited a study from the Journal of Virology that mentions this fact and cites two articles as the source. The J.Virol. article is about dentritic cells in HCoV infection and not about the epidemiological study it mentions that says HCoV's cause 30% of common colds.

Specifically, it says, “Epidemiological studies suggest that HCoVs account for 15 to 30% of common colds, with only occasional spreading to the lower respiratory tract. Airway epithelial cells represent the primary target of infection.” The authors then cite an article from the Archives of Pediatrics, and Journal of Hospital Infection which report on two studies in neonatal intensive care units regarding the transmission of these human coronaviruses. Here’s a link to the full article that mentions this:

I added this to the Common cold article:[31]. But Doc James reverted claiming that it is based on primary sources and can't be used. [32]. The fact that two human coronaviruses OC43 and 229E are among the many viruses that cause the common cold is well documented in the literature to the point of common knowledge. This fact is often mentioned as background information in journal articles reporting studies on the HCoV's. It seems perfectly reasonable to use this source for the edits. Malke 2010 (talk) 13:34, 10 November 2013 (UTC)

The individual studies are "primary" - when a later writer refers to earlier studies published in a peer-reviewed journal per WP:MEDRS, the argument that the secondary source is still "primary" fails. [33] has even made it into a RS medical textbook from Oxford. (academic and professional books written by experts in the relevant field and from a respected publisher) Collect (talk) 14:18, 10 November 2013 (UTC)
The textbook linked to above says Coronaviruses are an "important cause", but Collect is right in that WP:MEDRS does state that "Research papers that describe original experiments are primary sources; however, they normally contain previous-work sections that are secondary sources", and this seems to apply to "Epidemiological studies suggest that HCoVs account for 15 to 30% of common colds". Cheers, --Dailycare (talk) 15:36, 10 November 2013 (UTC)
Agree. Papers discussing new findings frequently provide an overview of existing literature which explains why the authors decided to conduct a new study. While their findings are a primary source, their summary of existing literature is a secondary source. I would like to point out too that some editors are under the misapprehension that if the authors of a study dispute existing literature that they cannot be used as a source for what that literature says. TFD (talk) 08:35, 12 November 2013 (UTC)

Chomsky on Operation Menu

User:LudicrousTripe is deleting material sourced to Pawns of War and Sideshow and replacing it with a supposed quotation from a primary source mentioned in Chomsky's Manufacturing Consent (a work only tangentially related to the article). While Chomsky's opinions on some topics may be notable, my understanding is that as a linguist and polemicist he lacks historical training and therefore shouldn't be used to establish historical facts over academic historians. However, LudicrousTripe assures me that Chomsky is a reliable source for factual claims and insists that my only motive for disagreement must be a personal dislike of Chomsky. Should Chomsky be used to establish the authenticity and historical significance of this quote, and should it replace Pawns of War and Sideshow?TheTimesAreAChanging (talk) 17:36, 11 November 2013 (UTC)

Reliability is not a binary on/off switch. Rather, it's a sliding scale with some sources more reliable than others. Noam Chomsky's area of expertise is linguistics, not history. Given that the Vietnam War happened over 40 years ago, surely there are better sources available from actual historians. On a side note, even if Chomsky's area of expertise were history, we should not use the word "criminal" in Wikipedia's voice until there is consensus among historians for using this term. A Quest For Knowledge (talk) 18:07, 11 November 2013 (UTC)
User:A Quest For Knowledge I am not using the word "criminal" in Wikipedia's voice, the word criminal was used as a direct quote from the Cambodian governments response to the attacks.

Your tone is, as usual, it seems, judging by your talk page, unnecessarily combative. Quite disappointing, as it makes any interaction with you extremely unpleasant. Anyway, let's get this over with.

There are few points I want to make.

1) It was not I who wanted to replace the stuff; it was Balgill1000. My reversion was admittedly trying to cement that replacement, which brings me to my next point.

2) Despite appearances, I do not want to "replace" anything; it appeared to me from your reversion of this Balgill1000 person, and its edit summary, that you had tried to replace Chomsky–Herman with other stuff on the basis that you did not think C–E are RS. I say "appeared" because I've just checked Balgill1000's original edit and it was he/she who had wanted to use C–E as a replacement. Your edit summary led me to my bad conclusion, though I do not seek to put the blame on your for my mistake. My errors are my own. Anyway, just a simple mistake on my part that I wanted to clarify. I am strongly in favour of not replacing/deleting alternative views, even ones I don't like; Wikipedia should be a place were all views are aired and the reader can come to their own conclusion.

3) I did not "insist" that your motive for disagreement "must" be a personal dislike of C–E; it was a potential conclusion to be based on a simple point of logic. Let me explain things: I made a conditional statement: if you couldn't point me to where C–E have been ruled out as RS on topics that are to do with US foreign policy, then I could assume that it was nothing more than WP:IDON'TLIKEIT. After all, if you have no objective basis that rules them out as RS to which you can point me, the only possible conclusion is that you have a merely subjective basis for not regarding them as RS. Just a simple point of logic. The mere existence of this discussion on this noticeboard tells me there is no Wikipedia policy or whatever that excludes C–E as RS, hence my suspicion about a lurking WP:IDON'TLIKEIT appears to have been validated.

To be honest with the admins or whoever deals with this noticeboard, dealing with this clearly and deeply unhappy individual is just so unenjoyable, I am minded to let him just get on and do what he wants with the article. Actually, I'm not minded, I am certain: just let him get on with it. I am not going to make any further posts here. Thank you. LudicrousTripe (talk) 18:18, 11 November 2013 (UTC)

Chomsky's been brought to this noticeboard many times, and the response has always been exactly the same as the one User:A Quest For Knowledge provided above; therefore, I could not point to a single "Wikipedia policy" that states "Chomsky has been ruled out as RS". I truly thought it would be more informative to discuss this particular matter here.TheTimesAreAChanging (talk) 18:35, 11 November 2013 (UTC)
Chomsky's writings on recent U.S. foreign policy had been published by academic publishers. There is no reason to believe that a book by him published by Pantheon Books in 1988 is less reliable than a book by a journalist, William Shawcross, published by Washington Square Press in 1979.
The difference in the facts presented by the two sources is that Shawcross said Sihanouk was silent about U.S. bombing, while Chomsky says Sihanouk's government condemned the bombings on 26 March 1969 and Sihanouk furthered condemned the bombings in a press conference two days later.
I would give more credence to Chomsky's version, because it was written later. If Chomsky is wrong then the onus is on TheTimesAreAChanging to provide evidence of that. If he thinks only sources published by the academic press are acceptable then he cannot defend using Shawcross.
TFD (talk) 18:46, 11 November 2013 (UTC)
TheTimesAreAChanging, when evaluating sources, the main issue is the publisher, because it indicates the degree of fact-checking. Academic publishers for example have independent peer-review while reputable publishers do not publish non-fiction books that are likely to contain substantial errors. Also, they will "withdraw" books that are found to contain substantial errors or plagiarism. The main issue with Chomsky's writings is however not whether he gets his facts right, but whether or not he makes the correct conclusions. But that is a separate issue from reliability. TFD (talk) 18:58, 11 November 2013 (UTC)
Academic publishers for example have independent peer-review - it's a common misconception that academic books are peer-reviewed. They almost never are - at least not in the formal way academic papers are. This is part of the reason that good academic books have extensive footnotes and clarity about sourcing, where relevant. Podiaebba (talk) 23:39, 11 November 2013 (UTC)
I don't see the contradiction between Shawcross and Chomsky, nor do I even doubt the legitimacy of the quote. The cherry-picked quote has not been demonstrated to have any historical significance, and User:Balgill1000's edit was sloppy. Shawcross is a widely-cited expert on Cambodia, whereas Chomsky has no such expertise.TheTimesAreAChanging (talk) 19:11, 11 November 2013 (UTC)
There is a contradiction between Shawcross who said Sihanouk said nothing about the bombings and Chomsky saying he protested them. Kenton Clymer (United States and Cambodia, 1969-2000, Routledge, 2013), confirms that Sihanouk indeed condemned the bombings in a press conference, but that Kissinger had interpreted his earlier statements as an invitation to bomb his country and ignored his later complaints.[34] It could be that Shawcross was relying on the misleading statements of pro-war politicians, either directly from other sources based on their accounts, and was unaware of the press conference.
Shawcross btw is a journalist, not an academic. Note the brief mention of him by Ben Kiernan in "The Cambodian Genocide" (Routledge, 2008), p. 292:[35] "Shawcross, author of Sideshow, a good study of the pre-1975 U.S. intervention and wartime destruction of Cambodia, hung the label of "genocide' on the Khmer Rouge's opponents.... He warned of "2 million dead by Christmas. Fortunately, he was very wrong."
People who write books are not oracles, and even the most reliable sources will have errors. Saying that something must be right because the writer is an expert is an appeal to authority. If you doubt facts in reliable sources, then the best approach is to compare them with other sources.
TFD (talk) 21:06, 11 November 2013 (UTC)
Even in Kiernan's recounting, Shawcross didn't continue to stand by his predictions regarding the Vietnamese invasion after they were discredited. Since Kiernan is a former Khmer Rouge supporter, neither comes out looking very prescient. Sihanouk talked out of both sides of his mouth, but I'd have absolutely no problem with using Clymer's book in that section.TheTimesAreAChanging (talk) 21:13, 11 November 2013 (UTC)
Shawcross is the standard account of the US bombing of Cambodia. Kiernan is reliable for the history and politics of the KR, except of course the early stuff that he recanted. Using Clymer seems to be the solution here. Itsmejudith (talk) 22:37, 11 November 2013 (UTC)
@LudicrousTripe: Actually, you did use the word "criminal" in Wikipedia's voice[36]:
On 26 March 1969, one week after the bombings began, the Cambodian government publicly condemned the almost daily bombing by U.S. aircraft, alleging that these attacks were directed against peaceful Cambodian farmers and demanding that these criminal attacks be stopped immediately and indefinitely.
There are no quotation marks surrounding this text at all. A Quest For Knowledge (talk) 23:02, 11 November 2013 (UTC)
LudicrousTripe User:A Quest For Knowledge I will add the appropriate quotations marks to the correction I am making so it will be clear it is not someones opinion or Wikipedia's opinion, but the direct quotation of the Cambodian government. Balgill1000 (talk) 23:13, 11 November 2013 (UTC)
TheTimesTheyAreAChanging, you need to distinguish between facts and opinions. Facts, unlike opinions, are either true or false, and are independent of opinions. I do not know why you think Kiernan is a former KR supporter, but the fact is his article was published in an academic book and does not appear to support Pol Pot. If you have a source that says when Sianouk condemned the bombing out of one side of his mouth, the other side of his mouth said nothing, then please provide a source. TFD (talk) 23:08, 11 November 2013 (UTC)

It's worth pointing out that academics like Chomsky often provide sources in their books. In this case, even without access to the book, the provision of a quote allows me to find this, which says the relevant quote was sourced by Chomsky/Herman to a US Senate hearing. (This is slightly unsatisfactory as the quote doesn't seem to have been given to the hearing, so was likely cited by someone in it... but still.) Podiaebba (talk) 23:35, 11 November 2013 (UTC)

This Chomsky work isn't an ideal source because its purpose is to critique media constructions, not to tell the history of the period. Itsmejudith (talk) 23:58, 11 November 2013 (UTC)
I don't see how that makes it any less reliable for a quote cited in it. Academics do not generally go around making up quotes. Interpretation and conclusion can be argued about endlessly, sure, but that's not the issue here. Podiaebba (talk) 00:02, 12 November 2013 (UTC)
Your link is to Alex J. Bellamy's book, Massacres and Morality (Oxford University Press, 2012). Bellamy uses Herman and Chomsky's book, Manufacturing Consent, p. 270, as a source and says their source was a 1973 U.S. Senate hearing. I have only a snippet view of the senate hearing, but it shows Senator Symington presenting a document that says, "Sihanouk denies he would not oppose bombings 28 March Press Conference."[37][38] Obviously Chomsky would not quote someone's testimony as established fact, which is why Bellamy feels comfortable in using his book as a source. Scholars frequently use reliable secondary sources without checking all the source documents. Do you think the Senator forged the document about the news conference? TFD (talk) 00:16, 12 November 2013 (UTC):
Do you think the Senator forged the document about the news conference? - that seems like an odd question. Your clarification of the sourcing allows me to clarify: it would have been better if Chomsky/Herman had given more details on the sourcing: cited the document, or the Senator's use of it at Senate hearing X, instead of the vague "Senate hearing X". Podiaebba (talk) 01:36, 13 November 2013 (UTC)
Problematic sources aren't just a simple matter of making false statements. There is a broader and less obvious problem around their focus; Chomsky will focus on different arguments and use different emphasis, compared to a reliable source, so it's not simply a matter of taking a snippet from Chomsky and then verifying it elsewhere; more reliable and neutral sources on that topic area may well make different points, cite different primary sources, put emphasis on other parts of the topic. It's even more important to recognise this problem when writing about controversial episodes of recent history. bobrayner (talk) 00:43, 12 November 2013 (UTC)
Just to recap. Shawcross claimed that Sihanouk's silence constituted consent. Herman and Chomsky, in their section about about media coverage of the wars in Laos and Cambodia, say Shawcross, who is a journalist, misrepresented Sihanouk. Bellamy reported both versions. Here is a link to the Senate hearings, pp. 158-160 that Herman and Chomsky use.
bobrayner, Chomsky's books from reputable publishers are as reliable as those publishers' other books. In fact it is typical of high quality sources that their writers have opinions, and it is up to us to be neutral not them. No one took a snippet from Chomsky. They took a snippet from Shawcross, then other editors checked to see whether or not he was accurate, and found he was not. Shawcross btw like Chomsky has opinions and like everyone else is not always correct. We could avoid these discussions if instead of challenging sources because we do not like what they say, we instead check facts that we question. That btw is what was done when Chomsky's source was added.
TFD (talk) 00:52, 12 November 2013 (UTC)
How about we just use Bellamy for this bit? Itsmejudith (talk) 00:56, 12 November 2013 (UTC)
Seems fair enough, because Bellamy's book is more recent and came from an academic publisher, unlike Shawcross and Chomsky. I would also add a link to the Senate hearing. The source used by them btw was the Foreign Broadcast Information Service, part of the CIA that openly gathered local news for U.S. government. Bellamy also mentions that in the months leading up to the news conference, Cambodia had complained 100 times to the U.N. about the bombings, confirming that they were not silent about them at the time, as Kissinger and Shawcross claimed. TFD (talk) 01:58, 12 November 2013 (UTC)
TFD, as someone who actually has a (2004) copy of Clymer's book, I can attest that Clymer describes a more nuanced situation than your cherrypicked quotes: "Three days later when Chester Bowles met Sihanouk, however, the Prince expressed a willingness to have American forces attack Vietnamese communist forces inside Cambodia. Contrary to what he had told Ambassador Deschamps, he did discuss the question of hot pursuit: "In a general discussion of the likelihood of increasing use of Cambodia by VC/NVA sources, Prince said that he would not mind if US engaged in hot pursuit in unpopulated areas. He could not say this publicly or officially, but he would be glad to have this kind of US help in solving his problem. If US engaged VC/NVA on Cambodian territory, both would be guilty of violating Cambodian soil, but the VC/NVA would be "more guilty." He said "You would be liberating us from the VC."...In cases of hot pursuit in remote areas where no Cambodian population would be unaffected, he would "Shut my eyes.""" (pg. 14) "In the first weeks of 1969, Sihanouk's verbal attacks on the Vietnamese communists and the Chinese continued...Later he complained that he could not even visit parts of his own country, because the Vietnamese occupied it. The Americans were encouraged...[Kissinger] maintain[s] that on 13 May Sihanouk "for all practical purposes invited us to continue" the bombing. In the press conference, Sihanouk said he had not protested the attacks "because I have not heard of the bombings." No Cambodian had informed him about them, he said, and the Vietnamese would not do so because that would prove they were on Cambodian territory." (pg. 15) "Sihanouk did acknowledge that his army of 35,000 was unable to control the frontier, and those Americans who wanted to bomb Vietnamese forces in Cambodia could take comfort in some of his remarks that suggested he would look the other way. Given his anger at the Vietnamese abuse of his territory and his belief that they were also supporting his domestic opponents, the Khmer Rouge, Sihanouk shed few tears over their casualties. He did, after all, renew relations with the United States, even as the bombing was well underway, and, as President Nixon pointed out, invited the American President to visit Phnom Penh." (pg. 17) In Clymer's summary, there are several notable opinions regarding Sihanouk's role in the bombings (especially because Sihanouk gave the Americans targets to bomb), but Chomsky's is not among them: "What have scholars and other informed observers concluded? The journalist Stanley Karnow, who interviewed Sihanouk at the end of 1967, finds Kissinger's case compelling. Sihanouk "shut his eyes to the bombing," Karnow wrote, and even provided information to the Americans about Vietnamese communist bases. Others are not so certain. Shawcross argues that the Prince's alleged acquiescence was "at least questionable." Historian David Chandler doubts that Sihanouk granted "permission to conduct a full-scale program of bombing." Australian scholar Justin J. Corfield contends that Sihanouk "welcomed the restoration of full relations, in spite of the bombing."...Jeffrey Kimball, in his recent study of Nixon and Vietnam, writes "No one has yet deciphered what Sihanouk really thought."" (pg. 14) Clymer's actual position has a subtle distinction you failed to grasp; namely, while Sihanouk approved of hot pursuit of North Vietnamese forces in under populated areas, he never sanctioned the widespread B-52 bombings: "Sihanouk remained as committed as ever to demanding that all powers respect his territory, and the question of B-52 attacks (which were not closely related to the concept of hot pursuit in any event) was never discussed with him" (pg. 15); "In sum, Sihanouk was never asked to approve the B-52 bombings, and he never gave his approval" (pg. 16). Finally, TFD, if you are not aware of Kiernan's past support for the Khmer Rouge, I really have to question your knowledge of this topic. Kiernan's denial that the KR were murdering millions is at least as offensive as Shawcross' incorrect prediction that the Vietnamese would murder millions, and Shawcross (far from being pro-war or pro-bombing) actually argues against the idea that Sihanouk supported the B-52 strikes.TheTimesAreAChanging (talk) 20:03, 12 November 2013 (UTC)
Also, note that LudicrousTripe has just admitted to being another Iloveandrea sockpuppet.TheTimesAreAChanging (talk) 20:06, 12 November 2013 (UTC)
Is there still a sourcing question here? Itsmejudith (talk) 20:27, 12 November 2013 (UTC)
No.TheTimesAreAChanging (talk) 20:29, 12 November 2013 (UTC)

───────────────────────── TheTimesTheyAreAChanging, if you had a copy of Clymer's book, which confirms the facts reported by Chomsky, and brought this report to challenge those facts, that is very disruptive. You should have said Chomsky correctly said that Sihanouk complained about the bombings and held a press conference rather than misleading us by claiming those facts were false.

The disputed text per your link, is "On 26 March 1969, one week after the bombings began, the Cambodian government publicly condemned the almost daily bombing by U.S. aircraft, alleging that these attacks were directed against peaceful Cambodian farmers and demanding that these criminal attacks be stopped immediately and indefinitely. Prince Sihanouk called a press conference two days later on March 28 in which he emphatically denied denied reports circulating in the United States that he would "not oppose U.S. bombings of communist targets within my frontiers." Your reference to "cherry-picking" btw is misleading and offensive. The issue was merely whether the facts reported were true, and Clymer confirmed them.

BTW, I never claimed to be an expert, I am merely replying to the a thread discussing reliable sources, the criteria for which does not change depending on the subject. As for Kiernan, I never check the backgrounds of scholars, because it is absolutely irrelevant to the factually accuracy of their writings. His article is reliable because it appear in Routledge's Century of Genocide, which is now in its third edition. That the editors, Samuel Totten and William S. Parsons chose indicates that it for the section on Cambodia shows that it is reliable. I notice you have no problem in accepting The History of the Vietnamese Economy (2005), published by the Institute of Economics of the Vietnam Academy of Social Sciences, which is a division of the Communist government of Vietnam.[39] It seems to me that you apply standards against writers when you disagree with he facts they report and in this case you made no effort to determine if the facts you were challenging were true.

TFD (talk) 21:47, 12 November 2013 (UTC)

The reason I brought up Kiernan's past was not to discredit him as a source. As Kiernan is the preeminent scholar of the Cambodian genocide, it would be absolutely insane of me to suggest that he fails RS criteria. You brought up sources' pasts by mentioning an inaccurate prediction Shawcross made in 1979.TheTimesAreAChanging (talk) 22:48, 12 November 2013 (UTC)
Looking through the talk page, I'd definitely suggest that you include a mention of Sihanouk's public denunciation of the bombing, while also maintaining all contested references by historians and journalists that Sihanouk tacitly approved of or even invited intervention.
There's no reason not to mention Sihanouk's public statements, nor is there reason to delete informed commentaries by academics on the actual position of his government. -Darouet (talk) 00:07, 13 November 2013 (UTC)

Is reliable for this edit?Two kinds of pork (talk) 03:02, 13 November 2013 (UTC)

Even if this source were considered in principle reliable (which I doubt), it does not actually support the specific edit. Nor does either of the aoher sources noted in the talk page (except for a claim in a reader's comment on one page). So you were correct to remove the edit. If a source can be found confirming the assertion, there would still be a question, to be discussed on the article's talk page, aboout the weight to give this, and whether it deserved mention. In the absence of a source, it clearly cannot be included. RolandR (talk) 08:44, 13 November 2013 (UTC)

"Consortium News" at October Surprise conspiracy theory

Is Robert Parry's self-published, donation financed "Consortium News" website (with all of the relevant articles written by Parry himself) a reliable source for historical facts? The site is barely above the level of a blog, although Parry's past work as a journalist may give him some credibility (along with a strong conflict of interest). At the moment, "Consortium News" (and an editorial from the far-left advocacy group FAIR, also by Parry) are the primary sources used in October Surprise conspiracy theory. I'm hardly surprised that the article has been written entirely by editors who take everything Parry says extremely seriously; the resulting lack of neutrality is merely the collateral damage that comes inherent with a project like Wikipedia. No doubt the page requires mass deletions of unsourced content ("Bush provided several alibis that fell apart," with no source, when Secret Service logs show Bush engaged in a large number of appearances in the United States), as well as removal of useless external links like Rumor Mill News, and it should probably portray the delusional con man Ari Ben Menashe (whose inglorious career includes serving as chief witness in Robert Mugabe's farcical treason trial of the leader of the chief opposition party in Zimbabwe) in a less glowing light. But even granting that perhaps fringe theories are most written about by fringe theorists, is "Consortium News" a suitable source for Wikipedia at all? Keep in mind that Parry claims to have found a "Russian X-file" proving the October Surprise after he snuck into "a remote storage room on Capitol Hill," and that this is typical of his style. (Here he talks about how he found Carter's "green-light" allowing Saddam to invade Iran, "which apparently had been left behind by accident in a remote Capitol Hill storage room". Certainly, none of his "well-placed official[s]" are sources we can check.) Also consider that "Consortium News" is often the sole source used to ascribe factual statements to important political figures, for example Yitzhak Shamir.TheTimesAreAChanging (talk) 15:50, 6 November 2013 (UTC)

sole source used to ascribe factual statements to important political figures, for example Yitzhak Shamir. - well yes, Parry was present in the interview with Shamir, so he's the direct source for what Shamir said. Podiaebba (talk) 04:28, 7 November 2013 (UTC)
Not reliable. Not a reliable source in the whole article as far as I can see. Itsmejudith (talk) 23:33, 6 November 2013 (UTC)
Great efforts were made to paint Ari Ben-Menashe as delusional and a con-man, but that line is no longer sustainable, which is probably why his house was fire-bombed recently, shortly before he was due to assist Parry with an interview of a senior Israeli intelligence figure (who concluded it was a message to him, and cancelled the interview). Podiaebba (talk) 04:20, 7 November 2013 (UTC)
The Consortium for Independent Journalism meets rs as does Fairness and Accuracy in Reporting. FAIR is actually a "progressive" organization, not the Weather Underground. Also, you should have posted a notice on the article's talk page that you were posting here. TFD (talk) 00:14, 7 November 2013 (UTC)
TFD, can you elaborate? Surely you aren't suggesting that they are RS because there are Wikipedia articles dedicated to them, or because you find my "far-left" description objectionable? Of course Parry revels in his self-published status, claiming that it allows him freedom from the constraints of biased corporate fact-checkers so he can uncover "the real story". But WP:SPS says "Never use self-published sources as third-party sources about living people, even if the author is an expert, well-known professional researcher."TheTimesAreAChanging (talk) 01:10, 7 November 2013 (UTC)
Parry revels in his self-published status - that is absolute crap. Look at Parry's backstory and you will see that he left both AP and Newsweek because they were too willing to draw a line under Iran-Contra and not publish any further digging into who knew what when (like Amiram Nir briefing Bush in 1986, as came out years later from an Israeli source). Podiaebba (talk) 04:20, 7 November 2013 (UTC)
FAIR comes up all the time.[40] U.S. conservatives do not like it because it concentrates on right-wing media.
The Wikipedia article says Parry who worked for AP and Newsweek is the editor and there are three other contributors. It's "reporting has featured several times in Project Censored's Top 25 Most Censored Stories of the Year". The close control of an owner over a publication does not make it self-published, otherwise we would have to exclude Fox News. Here is a link to a copy of the cable on Consortium's website. The Road to 911 by Peter Dale Scott (University of California Press, 2007) quotes the cable, which he sources to Parry.[41] I do not know if the contents of the cable were accurate, or if it means anything, but see no reason to doubt it was actually sent, and Scott's book is rs that it did exist. I do not know where Barry wrote that he "snuck in" and found the document, my reading is just that he said it was stored for years.
TFD (talk) 02:57, 7 November 2013 (UTC)
He didn't "sneak in" anywhere, he asked for access to the files and got it (and found the files in such a "we don't really care" mess that classified materials he shouldn't have been given access to where in there as well, which AFAIR includes the Russian cable and the State Dept memo proving that Casey was in Madrid at the relevant time). Podiaebba (talk) 04:11, 7 November 2013 (UTC)
No. See more here. Whatever credibility as a journalist Parry once had went up in smoke captain Ahab style. And I agree with Itsmejudith that there are no decent sources in the article. WeldNeck (talk) 03:09, 7 November 2013 (UTC)
Really? You're trying to use the 1991 Newsweek article by Steven Emerson which included claims Newsweek knew to be false (Craig Unger, who warned them, "They told me, essentially, to fuck off.. It was the most dishonest thing that I’ve been through in my life in journalism") and which the House Task Force dropped without comment? Even without knowing anything else about Emerson, that's going some. PS Is it possible that knowingly publishing false information might affect Newsweek or Emerson's status as a reliable source at least for this subject? ... Ah, though not. Podiaebba (talk) 04:52, 7 November 2013 (UTC)
Robert Parry (journalist) is probably the leading expert on the October Surprise; as such, his publications on the subject are reliable sources by any meaningful interpretation of the concept. Anyone who dismisses Parry on the basis that he's still pursuing the October Surprise when the House Task Force "proved" it was wrong really ought to look at House October Surprise Task Force. Podiaebba (talk) 04:11, 7 November 2013 (UTC)
TFD, I actually agree with you about FAIR--I would consider them a reliable source. Keep in mind, my concern is Consortium News. You seem a lot more concerned about proving FAIR is reliable, which is not what I am focused on, and doesn't prove anything about Consortium News. Now, I don't think a media watchdog advocacy group like FAIR is ideal for establishing historical facts, but I do think they can be cited for claims specifically ascribed to them. Regarding Consortium News, I am not persuaded by your comparison of a donation-financed blog with 3 contributors to Fox News, suggesting that we would have to blacklist them both. Nevertheless, that you found a RS (The Road to 9/11) citing Parry on the Russian report is quite helpful. The article should be structured around RS like that, rather than extensively quoting Consortium News uncritically (while I would need to look a little more closely to be sure, I think it may be fair to say the article as currently written is based on Consortium News). If anything Parry has written on the subject has been published, even by institutions like FAIR, then it could also be cited. However, the claims should be ascribed to him rather than treated as gospel truth, and the article should focus on how these assertions are viewed by impartial mainstream observers.TheTimesAreAChanging (talk) 06:19, 7 November 2013 (UTC)
Parry is an RS, and mainstream sources are hardly interested in continuing to pursue the details of it post-House Task Force, so the new information Parry has come up with (of which the State Dept memo is probably the most critical - the Task Force chairman told Parry two decades later that if that hadn't been withheld, the conclusions might have been different [42]). I don't object to more explicit attribution of claims to Parry, but that will make the writing pretty awkward. I'm not happy to have to rely on one author so heavily, but when it's an RS who is the leading expert on the subject, and few others are interested in continuing to write about, that's how it is. As to "impartial mainstream observers" - this is a joke, right? Or did you miss the deliberate publication of misinformation by New Republic and Newsweek? Or that the efforts to discredit every source (cf Ben-Menashe) still leave the whole thing a radioactive mess for any mainstream journalist - potential career suicide even if they could get their employer to publish it (remember Parry left Newsweek because they wouldn't)? Podiaebba (talk) 11:22, 7 November 2013 (UTC)
NB if it makes any difference, the large majority of the info on Consortium News will also be available from Parry's books. Podiaebba (talk) 11:25, 7 November 2013 (UTC)
PS Those who insist that the House October Surprise Task Force is the last word on the subject might pause to consider Rep Dymally's refusal to sign the report - a refusal relegated to a single sentence on page 244, in a section with an irrelevant heading, whilst the cover letter claims unanimous approval of the report's conclusions. (And that's not Parry, that's verifiable from the HOSTF report itself.) Podiaebba (talk) 11:29, 7 November 2013 (UTC)

After a brief review, there are several high quality sources on this subject.

  1. The New Republic Piece
  2. Newsweeks investigation
  3. American Journalism Review
  4. The Village Voice
  5. Two congressional inquiries

Even if a case could be made that Robert Parry is a RS, his website isnt and the way the article looks now, Parry is responsible for the majority of the content which would seem to violate WP:NPOV and WP:FRINGE. WeldNeck (talk) 14:48, 7 November 2013 (UTC)

As noted above, Newsweek and New Republic 1991 pieces knowingly published false information at a time when there was a concerted Republican effort to prevent Congressional enquiries taking place; and the House enquiry mislead readers about one of its members' refusal to sign the report. No discussion of "reliability" which refuses to engage with these facts can be at all credible. Podiaebba (talk) 01:23, 8 November 2013 (UTC)
Even if a case could be made that Robert Parry is a RS, his website isnt - this is the sort of absurdity which comes up a lot. If Parry is an RS, then his claims published on his website are too. We don't even need to take into account that those claims have been reprinted and repeated on other websites (some with at least a modicum of editorial oversight, like FAIR and truthout), in Parry's own books, and in others' books. Podiaebba (talk) 08:57, 8 November 2013 (UTC)

On quick example of the issues with Parry's work. The following is directly from the article and sourced to Parry: "David Andelman, the official biographer of French spy chief Alexandre de Marenches, testified to the House investigation that de Marenches had told him that he had organised the Paris meeting.[19]". I can find no mention anywhere else outside of Parry or individuals who use Parry as a source that David Andelman testified to the House investigation or that deMarenches claimed to organize a meeting in Paris. If anyone has a copy or can obtain a copy of Andelman's The Fourth World War: Diplomacy and Espionage in the Age of Terrorism this could be positively verified but I wouldnt count on it. WeldNeck (talk) 15:27, 7 November 2013 (UTC)

I agree with Weldneck; the article is unquestionably giving undue weight to a fringe viewpoint. However, if Podiaebba is correct in saying that most of the relevant material can be sourced back to Parry's published books, doing so would resolve this matter as far as RSN is concerned. To create a neutral article, I would suggest restoring the version that existed prior to Podiaebba's edits. Podiaebba could then create a section devoted to Parry, succinctly summarizing his most important claims and making clear they are his claims. If RS have commented on Parry, they could also be mentioned.TheTimesAreAChanging (talk) 18:34, 7 November 2013 (UTC)
The main issue appears to be weight, rather than rs. It is not that there is doubt about whether Parry's facts are accurate, it is their significance to the article. Weldneck, Andelman spoke to the task force about Marenches and the Paris meeting.[43] I only have access to a snippet view so I cannot verify that Parry's description is accurate. Do you have access to the report? TFD (talk) 18:43, 7 November 2013 (UTC)
I'd argue that it's both whether his facts are accurate and whether there's a weight problem. Do they account for his claims? Yes. Should we necessarily trust something he writes that doesn't have editorial oversight? I don't think so. Thargor Orlando (talk) 19:02, 7 November 2013 (UTC)
TFD, I do not have ready access to the report. Kudos for looking for it in Google books, nice move, I only thought to look for the biography. The snippets of the report on google books are tantalizing, but we cant see more than the preview. WeldNeck (talk) 19:22, 7 November 2013 (UTC)
Check that, I found a copy online [44]. Looks like (according to pg 168) de Marenches categorically denied it when interviewed and Andelman himself had some doubts when de Marenches mentioned it in passing. Not exactly the slam dunk its portrayed n the article. WeldNeck (talk) 19:23, 7 November 2013 (UTC)
Is nobody even reading my posts? The hathitrust link is in House October Surprise Task Force, which I recommended reading... Podiaebba (talk) 01:23, 8 November 2013 (UTC)
De Marenches' denial when directly asked isn't worth much given his history with Casey (and his denial to investigators preceded his admission to Andelman, and investigators said they were "unable to reach" him to confront him with Andelman's testimony). I will add Pierre Salinger's corroboration of de Marenches' knowledge of the meetings, which I wasn't aware of til just now. And BTW the deletion of the 8-paragraph passage from the 1995 English edition of Salinger's book ought to be a reminder of how toxic the subject became in the US. Podiaebba (talk) 01:43, 8 November 2013 (UTC)

NB In case anyone cares, some of the consortiumnews articles were republished by truthout. [45]. Podiaebba (talk) 02:19, 8 November 2013 (UTC)

Podiaebba, I am reading your posts, but they are completely irrelevant. "No discussion of "reliability" which refuses to engage with these facts can be at all credible." That's just not how Wikipedia policy works. If a source is reliable, as Newsweek clearly is, I'm afraid that your dislike of it has no impact on its reliability. Wikipedia is not the truth. I think there is a consensus that this article, and many others you have edited, will require significant clean-up to meet our standards.TheTimesAreAChanging (talk) 02:42, 8 November 2013 (UTC)
Very nice. But you're not going to get away with claiming that Newsweek's reliability is unimpeached even on this specific subject without explicitly addressing Craig Unger's point that he warned Newsweek that a key claim it was about to publish in that 1991 piece was wrong, and they went ahead and published it anyway - he later said "They told me, essentially, to fuck off.. It was the most dishonest thing that I’ve been through in my life in journalism." [46] Any further attempt to pretend that this is about me "not liking" Newsweek or about seeking "the truth" regardless of reliable sourcing - or to simply ignore the issue ... well I'll leave others to judge what conclusions to draw from that. PS I see no consensus - just you reasserting your initial claim that started this thread, ignoring all reliably-sourced information and commentary that doesn't support your view. Podiaebba (talk) 08:50, 8 November 2013 (UTC)
Every editor, except you, agrees that Newsweek is RS and Parry is being given undue weight: Itsmejudith, Weldneck, Thargo Orlando, TFD, and myself. Hence the need for clean-up. Your obvious failure to understand the concept of WP:RS doesn't help your case.TheTimesAreAChanging (talk) 14:16, 8 November 2013 (UTC)
Your willingness to assert without evidence what I do or do not understand whilst refusing to address specific evidence of reliability problems speaks for itself. Is it really necessary for WP:RS to be amended to give explicit weight to publications knowingly publishing false information before you're willing accept that this impacts on their reliability?? Also, this is not the Undue Weight board, so don't try to change the subject. Podiaebba (talk) 14:41, 8 November 2013 (UTC)

Some of Parry's criticisms of the report were published in January 1993 in The Nation. [47] Does that help any? I have no problem with avoiding use of consortiumnews when the same thing is published in a source others consider better. Podiaebba (talk) 20:23, 8 November 2013 (UTC)

Not to beat up on Podiaebba, who obviously has very strong feelings in favor of Robert Parry's professionalism and credibility, but he has tried to shoehorn Consortiumnews onto the Ghouta chemical attack page, with similar responses: Noticeboard and Talk as examples. Regardless of Parry's "amazing track record", the fact that his website is self-published and other red flags like it lending credence to fringe personalities and conspiracy theories really should be weighed when we're looking at whether to include it. I just don't think it rises to the level of a reliable source. -Kudzu1 (talk) 05:11, 11 November 2013 (UTC)

lending credence to fringe personalities and conspiracy theories, eh? This seems a remark carefully crafted to make consortiumnews look like or something. I suppose you're thinking of "fringe personalities" like Ray McGovern, who received the CIA's Intelligence Commendation Medal? Perhaps Paul R. Pillar, a professor at Georgetown until 2012? Do tell. And I like your equally handwavingly vague "conspiracy theories" - citing concrete examples of the claims actually made would involve admitting that they fall very well within the normal range of investigative journalism. I can only imagine that it must take years of practice to be this good at obfuscation. I'm reminded of Richelieu's Give me six lines written by the most honorable of men, and I will find an excuse in them to hang him. Podiaebba (talk) 16:01, 11 November 2013 (UTC)
We should not treat Parry's (selfpublished) site as a reliable source. bobrayner (talk) 23:13, 11 November 2013 (UTC)
Thanks for that. But the site is edited by Parry, is backed by a 501(c)(3) which has received external grant funding, and publishes other authors. It is not "self-published" in the most trivially obvious way that a one-person blog is, if at all. Podiaebba (talk) 01:29, 13 November 2013 (UTC)

Incidentally, I'm not sure everyone here was aware that Robert Parry was awarded a Polk Award for his reporting on Iran-Contra - a matter highly intertwined with October Surprise. One might think that this would be relevant for judging whether he's a reliable source on the subject. Podiaebba (talk) 16:35, 13 November 2013 (UTC)

RS for Murray Rothbard as an historian

Some editors are trying to remove mention of, and/or categories about, Rothbard as an historian [added later to clarify: or "economic historian" depending on source; he wrote both] despite the following sources from talk page mostly in format as others presented it; duplicates integrated where possible. (Pardon length: The talk page "Not a historian" section discussion is too long to ask you all to read through it.) Three editors keep arguing against these sources for reasons they can explain.

  • In the Encyclopedia of Libertarianism, Rothbard is characterized as a "libertarian economist, political philosopher, historian, and activist" p 441, Sage Publications
  • Mark Thornton, Economic Thought Before Adam Smith: An Austrian Perspective on the History of Economic Thought, 2 vols., Southern Economic Journal, July 1, 1996
  • Gerard Casey (2013}.Continuum International Publishing Group Murray Rothbard, editor's "Introduction" to book. "Murray Rothbard was an economist, historian, political and moral philosopher, and legal theoretician." (refers to it (p.98 and later) in discussing reviews of a book
  • Justin Raimondo (2000).Prometheus Books An Enemy of the State: The Life of Murray N. Rothbard, page 54]. "...the young Rothbard was now embarked, fully armed, on a remarkable career as a thinker, philosopher, economist, historian, and all-around champion controversialist." p. 54 Also On pages 19–21..
  • Brian Doherty (2008). PublicAffairs, Radicals for Capitalism: A Freewheeling History of the Modern American Libertarian Movement, Part 64. Doherty says that The Panic of 1819 was Rothbard's history thesis work at Columbia, published years later in 1962. Doherty describes how Rothbard was given a grant to write an exhaustive work on American history. The grant was running out in 1966 when Rothbard had performed a lot of research but little of the writing. Doherty describes Rothbard's Conceived in Liberty as one of his major works in American history.
  • Vincent Gaddis (2005). Herbert Hoover, Unemployment, and the Public Sphere: A Conceptual History, page xx. University Press of America Gaddis gives an overview of the historiography of the 1920s. He says historian Rothbard was a prominent re-interpreter of Hoover's legacy.
  • David Gordon, ‎Carl Watner (1986). Murray N. Rothbard: a scholar in defense of freedom, page 14. "A historian, besides possessing the correct theory, must also master the techniques of empirical research. Rothbard passes this test with flying colors. His doctorate was in the field of economic history..." 'Ludwig von Mises Institute
  • Mark Skousen (2008). Regnery Publishing Economic Logic, page 412. "Rothbard was a highly influential American economist, historian and natural law theorist belonging to the Austrian School of economics... who helped define modern libertarianism."
  • Adrianus Arnoldus Maria van der Linden (1996). Rodopi (publisher) A Revolt Against Liberalism: American Radical Historians, 1959-1976, page 58. Linden describes Rothbard as a conservative historian who allied himself with radicals to challenge liberal histories of the New Deal.
  • Ronald Lora, ‎William Henry Longton (1999). Greenwood Publishing Group, 1999, p. 373, The Conservative Press in Twentieth-century America. "Murray. N. Rothbard is a libertarian economist, political scientist, and historian."
  • Daniel S. Dupre, "The Panic of 1819 and the Political Economy of Sectionalism", Penn State University Press, page 274, chapter 9 in The Economy of Early America: Historical Perspectives & New Directions. Rothbard is listed as one of the few historians who have written about the Panic of 1819.
  • Hans-Hermann Hoppe "Murray N. Rothbard – Economics, Science and Liberty", Ludwig von Mises Institute, page 238, within the book The Great Austrian Economists. "Furthermore, although first and foremost a theoretician, Rothbard was was also an accomplished historian..."
  • Editors of The Austrian Economics Newsletter, 1995, volume 16, page 33. "Murray N. Rothbard, economist, historian, political theorist, and philosopher, died on January 7, 1995."
  • Bruce Frohnen, ‎Jeremy Beer, ‎Jeffrey O. Nelson (2006). ISI Books, American conservatism: an encyclopedia, page 750. Rothbard is described as a free-market economist, an ethicist and a historian.
  • John F. Welsh (2008). Lexington Books/(Rowman & Littlefield). After multiculturalism: the politics of race and the dialectics of liberty, page 62. Rothbard is described as not "merely" an academic economist but also an interdisciplinary scholar and historian. His exemplary historian work is listed as Conceived in Liberty, a four-volume history of the American Revolution.
  • Sheldon L. Richman (2001). Ideas on Liberty, Foundation for Economic Education, volume 51, page 59. "Rothbard (1926-1995), economist, philosopher, historian, and essayist par excellence..."
  • His history books are: The Panic of 1819: Reactions and Policies, Columbia University Press, 1962; America's Great Depression, D. Van Nostrand Co., 1973; Conceived in Liberty, (4 vol.), Arlington House Publishers 1975–1979; An Austrian Perspective on the History of Economic Thought, (2 vol.), Edward Elgar Pub, 1995. An editor pointed out his books: [48] Rothbard's book on the Great Depression has been cited by 499 authors.[49] Panic of 1819 which several observers judge as one of his major works.[50] Rothbard's Panic of 1819 has been cited by 106 authors.[51]
    Thoughts? CM-DC surprisedtalk 19:33, 9 November 2013 (UTC)
Considering how serious this issue of trashing so many WP:RS entries in, and the fact it has been done before when one of the editors opposed to calling him an historian removed No |7 references calling him an Austrian economist, maybe we will need to get an official admin opinion on this. Is request for close the appropriate place when the time is right? User:Carolmooredc surprisedtalk 02:30, 12 November 2013 (UTC)
FYI: After this RSN was opened, additional comments (as of 04:23, 12 November 2013 (UTC)) are appearing at Talk:Murray Rothbard#Not a historian. This is where the original discussion started. – S. Rich (talk) 05:18, 12 November 2013 (UTC)

Uninvolved editors

  • Given the length of that list and the titles of his books, he has a claim to be described as a historian of some description. It really doesn't matter whether everyone on the list knew him or not: that's a lot of published sources. I'm not looking at the article talk page to understand why this should be such a big issue (doubtless a timesink) but it is not as if someone is suggesting that he be described as the greatest historian that ever lived or something similar. - Sitush (talk) 20:01, 9 November 2013 (UTC)
  • There are reviews of his books at JSTOR. Eg: JSTOR 2116455 is the Journal of Economic History, whose reviewer (Harris Prochansky) concludes: "The historian of business fluctuations in the United States and the economist hoping to find material aiding them in their quest for the causes of the crippling and demoralizing panics, recessions and depressions that have periodically occurred in the United States would find the volume disappointing in this regard. Since the author avowedly centers his attention on reactions and policies, he cannot be criticized on this score. His work is stimulating, instructive, and lucid."
  • JSTOR 1817172 is Harry Shaffer in The American Economic Review: "The bulk of the book is devoted to a very detailed account of contemplated, proposed, scrutinized, rationalized, tested, instituted, rejected, legislated, and repealed remedies for the panic. State by state, territory by territory (and where necessary county by county and city by city), the reader is given the opportunity to listen to the arguments and debates in newspaper editorials, in letters to the editor, in monographs, in petitions, in gubernatorial messages, in proposed bills, and in speeches before legislative assemblies". If that sort of research and presentation of something that happened in 1819 does not qualify someone to be described as a historian then I've got degrees in the wrong subject. - Sitush (talk) 20:30, 9 November 2013 (UTC)
The first does not support calling MR an historian. The second is your OR statement based on self-reference to your judgment. To determine RS we need to evaluate the publishers and their editorial standards and biases. This would be a simple task for any of those who advocate using these as RS. The timesink comes from ignoring policy and replacing it with personal opinion or google metrics. SPECIFICO talk 23:00, 9 November 2013 (UTC)
  • Close. It has to do with the previous edit, the removal of categories which are well understood to be true by any topic expert. Binksternet (talk) 00:40, 10 November 2013 (UTC)
Specifico, I'm on record as saying that I dislike this almost unique system of discussion that the regular AE contributors have created, which include the bizarre "involved" and "uninvolved" sections that were placed here. However, since they are here, what are you doing in this bit? I really cannot fathom the protocol that you and your opposites have created. In any event, the first source is the Journal of Economic history and the second should be common sense. The pedantry that surrounds this topic is incredible: can we not all let it drop and actually get on with improving this encyclopaedia? - Sitush (talk) 01:02, 10 November 2013 (UTC)
I'm responding to you, that is why I write in this section. There's really no need to restate what you're on record as having said. Maybe there is some other noticeboard where it would be useful to discuss and seek resolution your meta-issues.
I don't yet have an opinion on RS or not, but when I do I will post it in the "involved" section. I didn't create the sections -- OP did, so I'll just follow OP's format here.
  • WRT your #1, you'll have to show why the cited reference is RS for the assertion that MR is an "historian". The name of the publication is not, by itself sufficient. We need to know the publisher, editorial policy, author, and text which would supports calling Rothbard an "historian". It should be easy to do if such documentation exists.
  • WRT your #2, "it's common sense" doesn't pass muster for RS per WP policy. On WP that is called OR and we can't use it if it is disputed. That's not my opinion, that's policy. I've cited the relevant policies elsewhere here and on the article talk page to Binksternet, who googled this list of names but has refused to provide any of the information we'd need to call them RS. So far, nobody has demonstrated why these are RS for the assertion being made. That's pretty easy to do if in fact they are RS. SPECIFICO talk 01:24, 10 November 2013 (UTC)
Small Note: The Involved/Uninvolved was brought over because of this kind of inundation of comments/criticism against anyone who disagreed with certain editors, leading to "chaotic" discussions. Sometimes the sectioning actually helps keep them from overloading the discussion with their commentary. CM-DC surprisedtalk 01:28, 10 November 2013 (UTC)
Well, excuse me, all, but I think most people who are active across multiple Austrian Economics articles might benefit from a dose of common sense. The engagement subculture, the WP:3LA (sic) and the concomitant frequent need to resort to drama boards etc is tiresome. This guy has written about stuff from two centuries ago, has been referenced as a historian (a fairly harmless term unless they are in fact a futurist) and has been reviewed in peer-reviewed academic journals that include "history" in the title: these things, as a minimum, would allow use of the word. I've still not looked at the talk page but if this is such as sticking point then can you not finagle something like "has written of historical events", "examined economic history" or whatever? There are so, so many ways round this issue. - Sitush (talk) 01:47, 10 November 2013 (UTC)
At first sight I am also wondering why it is considered so important whether he called an historian or not.--Andrew Lancaster (talk) 19:31, 10 November 2013 (UTC)
Specifico and Steeletrap have been trying to reduce the respectability of Rothbard ever since they first touched the biography. Denying his historian credentials is part of that initiative. Binksternet (talk) 23:46, 10 November 2013 (UTC)
Yes, got it that this is the background dispute, but is this particular issue really an important one? It looks a bit like one where a compromise should be possible.--Andrew Lancaster (talk) 13:26, 13 November 2013 (UTC)
Hello Andrew Lancaster. Do you have any information or opinions which would help resolve the RS question in this matter? The question as to whether this detail is important to the article is more of an article talk page matter. Personally, I don't think it's as important as the "historian" advocates apparently think it is, but the RS question is why OP brought it to this Noticeboard. Thanks. SPECIFICO talk 14:44, 13 November 2013 (UTC)
No I don't think it is constructive to pretend there is anything truly odd about bringing it here, and that we should start talking about that decision itself. Anyone watching this board can see that there is a heated systematic debate going on which goes beyond this one particular question, and both sides feel frustrated. Proposing a compromise on this case does not imply that I think it was wrong to come here.--Andrew Lancaster (talk) 15:06, 13 November 2013 (UTC)
@Andrew Lancaster:Hello. I think you may have misunderstood me. My point was simply that the issue you raised, namely whether the "hisorian" question is important, is a separate question from the one raised by OP here, namely whether we have RS to support that statement. I'm puzzled by your words "...pretend there is anything truly odd about bringing it here , and that we should start talking about that decision itself." Could you provide a diff in which an editor expressed that point of view? Thanks. SPECIFICO talk 17:20, 13 November 2013 (UTC)
You wrote "the RS question is why OP brought it to this Noticeboard". I disagree. The big question is how to make a better encyclopedia, and all the smaller questions should head towards that one.--Andrew Lancaster (talk) 20:30, 13 November 2013 (UTC)
I will re-parse my words to obviate this discussion: I meant to convey "OP posted this thread in order to resolve the question as to whether we have RS which calls Rothbard an historian" I didn't say anything which I would have expected to be interpreted as "Why did OP bring this up in the first place" or similar... I suspect that the reason why small issues of content lead to larger threads on this board is a valid one, namely that the principle of vetting and using RS is critical to every aspect of WP. In that sense, there are no small issues. Anyway, OP had her reasons and I haven't seen anybody question her decision to open this thread. Thanks. SPECIFICO talk 20:45, 13 November 2013 (UTC)

This sort of petty arguing about labels is one of the more pointless things Wikipedians do... but anyway, Rothbard seems to be a social scientist in a wide sense, active in a number of fields, including history, and on the basis of that plenty of good sources include "historian" in a list of things he is. It seems a bit absurd to crusade against that label as if using it had some major significance. It's a descriptive label with a fairly elastic meaning, not a stamp of approval or an academic degree! Podiaebba (talk) 01:51, 13 November 2013 (UTC)

Involved editors

  • For reliable sources, we would want evidence that historians view him as a historian. From what I saw of the proposed sources, they seem to come primarily or entirely (some sources lack publishers and other details) from those very close to him, including his associates and followers. There's been a long history of bias on their part, so I would hold out for an independent source that is credible in the field of history. MilesMoney (talk) 19:37, 9 November 2013 (UTC)
  • "Seem to come primarily or entirely"? If you do not know who is more closely connected and who is not, how can you make this comment? This response of yours was made in ignorance of the connections of former University of Louisville professor John F. Welsh, former The Freeman editor Sheldon Richman, legal scholar Bruce Frohnen, conservative scholar ‎Jeffrey O. Nelson, University of North Carolina at Charlotte history professor Daniel S. Dupre, University of Toledo professor emeritus Ronald Lora, University of Toledo History Department Chair William Henry Longton, writer Adrianus Arnoldus Maria van der Linden, economist Mark Skousen, writer Vincent Gaddis, and CATO editor Ronald Hamowy. The CATO folks were particularly unhappy with Rothbard but they describe him fairly as "a libertarian economist, political philosopher, historian, and activist" in their Encyclopedia of Libertarianism, page 441. Hamowy was the editor of that encyclopedia but CATO writer Brian Doherty drafted the biography of Rothbard. Neither is associated with the Ludwig von Mises Institute co-founded by Rothbard. Binksternet (talk) 20:13, 9 November 2013 (UTC)
Disproof by single example: We've discussed Skousen previously, and he's not actually a historian, so his opinion on this matter is questionable. He's also not unbiased about Rothbard, which presents its own problems.
The root cause of your problem is that you combined a shotgun approach with an attempt to avoid doing your homework. It's really not really my job to go through your many low-quality citations in search of one that's valid. You need to pick out one or two that can pass muster. If you won't choose a good representative, I'll choose one for you -- Skousen -- and you probably won't like the result. MilesMoney (talk) 01:39, 10 November 2013 (UTC)
You are basing your argument on a logical error. It does not take a historian to properly identify a historian! Skousen is a professor, scholar, author and an Austrian School economist, unaffiliated with the Ludwig von Mises Institute founded by Rothbard. He is a perfectly good third party source. Skousen is quoted by Casey in Casey's book Murray Rothbard. Skousen is also cited as a reference in our Rothbard article. Binksternet (talk) 00:30, 12 November 2013 (UTC)
  • Original poster: Now not every ref has to be used, but there are more than enough independent ones to merit use. And the idea that every tenured professor who happens to share some views with Rothbard or his associates, or sometimes publish with one of their groups, means they are not reliable as a source for a factoid or an opinion is total POV deletionism, IMHO. CM-DC surprisedtalk 19:45, 9 November 2013 (UTC)
Could you please identify one that is independent? Please include the name of the publisher. MilesMoney (talk) 19:47, 9 November 2013 (UTC)
OK, started putting non Ludwig von Mises in bold and removed one I found was self-published. CM-DC surprisedtalk 20:03, 9 November 2013 (UTC)
  • This list was generated by an editor's quick search engine adventure, but then its promoters have failed, or in one case refused, to provide editorial, publisher, and other information that would be required to verify the asserted text and evaluate whether any of these is RS. Until they do so there is no basis to accept anything on this list as RS. SPECIFICO talk 19:51, 9 November 2013 (UTC)
  • See my response to MilesMoney. Your push to impeach this list because of insufficient citation information shows that you have no better argument. That's pretty weak. You are perfectly free to select one or more of the sources and describe how its stance does not support our use of the word "historian" even though it says so in the cited text. I suggest you start with the CATO Institute's Encyclopedia of Libertarianism. Enjoy. Binksternet (talk) 20:18, 9 November 2013 (UTC)
Repeating response to @Binksternet: from article talk page: It's not sufficient to use a search engine to come up with a list and insist that they prove your point. WP requires us to verify information from WP:RS according to policy. You are under no obligation to do so, but the burden in this matter is clearly on you. Please read WP:BURDEN and WP:SOURCE. If you choose not to provide the information, your assertion is rejected. If you choose to deny policy as cited you should pursue this discussion. It is nobody's job but your own to prove your case here. The second sentence of your post above is a WP:PA You should ensure that you do not misrepresent other editors' positions nor engage in personal attacks. SPECIFICO talk 23:13, 9 November 2013 (UTC)
It is quite sufficient to list a score of sources to prove one's point. If you, personally, do not think the proof is adequate then you have adopted a position not shared by the majority of observers here. You ask me to read WP:SOURCE even though that policy is about sources as used within articles rather than sources presented in talk page arguments. Similarly BURDEN is about sources used within articles, not on talk page debates. Frankly, a talk page debate can be and often is more informal, with references to "the Raimondo book" or "the NYT obit" usually being quite enough to alert participants to the proper source. Binksternet (talk) 00:38, 10 November 2013 (UTC)
You haven't established that they're sources, which for the purpose of WP article content means sources which comport with the policies which I linked. SPECIFICO talk 00:42, 10 November 2013 (UTC)
What utter bullshit. Binksternet (talk) 01:42, 10 November 2013 (UTC)
  • I think in order to say someone is an historian, we need to show that that is the the mainstream opinion, which has not been shown in this case. Certainly, Rothbard wrote about history, but so do many journalists. TFD (talk) 20:13, 9 November 2013 (UTC)
  • Of course Rothbard is a historian. The cited sources list him as one, and several of these go into more detail about Rothbard's significant works of history including Conceived in Liberty (about the American Revolution in the late 18th century), The Panic of 1819, and America's Great Depression. These works establish his historian credentials. Binksternet (talk) 20:26, 9 November 2013 (UTC)
Are there standards for use of these words? I would think that several reliable, independent, mainstream (academic)historians are required. Non-historians lack expertise in determining who fits into the discipline. Co-workers who hew to fringe "revisionist" methodologies also must be looked upon suspiciously. Steeletrap (talk) 22:14, 9 November 2013 (UTC)
[Note:Put back removed comment per: Wikipedia:Neutral_point_of_view/FAQ#Dealing_with_biased_contributors which the individual who removed it is very well aware with since I have to remind the individual frequently.
Is it my imagination, or the same 3 editors who thought it was ok to use personal blogs to say nasty things about BLPs think that nearly a dozen independent mainstream publications calling someone a historian is not RS? What could possibly be the explanation for such an anomaly? Whatever it is, it makes it necessary to keep bringing issues here and makes it difficult to take their opinions seriously on things like book cover blurbs above. User:Carolmooredc (who did temporary business as a test as CM-DC), 16:33, 10 November 2013 (UTC)
Hmm. Deletions of posts are in my opinion an extreme measure. The post removed was an accusation of inconsistent application of RS norms, and does not seem to be a personal attack in the appropriate sense of that term here on WP (ad hominem and not concerning information relevant to editing). I have hesitated from reverting. But my understanding of WP:NPA is that it is not intended to apply to cases where an editor is criticized for edits or rationales. If there is a consistent pattern of inconsistent rationales that would seem a relevant point to make.--Andrew Lancaster (talk) 19:19, 10 November 2013 (UTC)


Hi all, is Reddit is a reliable source? Specifically their AMA or ask me anything ? I ask because a Reddit AMA has been cited, twice, as a source at the Captain Phillips (film) article. The AMA is an online, interactive Q&A with, in one case, Hollywood director Paul Greengrass. However, the only 'proof' that it is supposedly him, is a picture of him sitting in front of a computer, on a third party image hosting site. Does anyone know more about this, and whether we accept this as an acceptable reference? Thanks - thewolfchild 02:34, 15 November 2013 (UTC)

Personally, no, I would not accept that as a reliable source. It's self-published and of questionable authenticity. In the past, Usenet posts by J. Michael Straczynski have been upheld as reliable, as he has a documented history of interacting with fans over the Internet. There's probably even a Wikipedia article about that. In a case like this, it's completely unverifiable. NinjaRobotPirate (talk) 08:27, 15 November 2013 (UTC)

I would like to get the community's opinion on whether can be considered a reliable source. Another user expressed their interest in using it to source various time zone statements in the articles, but I am not convinced this site qualifies (even though the information it contains is most likely to be accurate).

As per WP:RS, a reliable source is one that qualifies as a "third-party, published source[] with a reputation for fact-checking and accuracy". is published by what looks like a private company whose only claim to fame is running this website, it does not say where the data come from, gives only vague assurances that its "employees are experienced and trained in their fields", and its list of accolades includes praises about the site's usability, features, and breadth of coverage but not on its accuracy. There is no "reputation for fact-checking and accuracy" to speak of, and that's the most important aspect of a source that can be considered reliable.

An outside opinion on this would be much appreciated.—Ëzhiki (Igels Hérissonovich Ïzhakoff-Amursky) • (yo?); November 15, 2013; 14:59 (UTC)

I am the other user that Ezhiki refers to above. Time and Date appears a reliable source to me, and it is mentioned in various sources. However, my query was a wider one, relating to the availability of English-language time zone sources in general, so it would be useful to have views on other such sites as well e.g. [53] [54] [55] [56], or indeed any other potentially reliable time zone sites you are aware of. Eldumpo (talk) 16:16, 15 November 2013 (UTC)

I would suggest the US Naval Observatory page:
It may not go into some of the fine detail that some sources do, but it certainly has a reputation as a reliable source. Jc3s5h (talk) 16:59, 15 November 2013 (UTC)
That one is most certainly reliable, but unfortunately it is the fine details (populated places, specific political and administrative divisions, etc.) that are in need of being referenced. The USNO map can be overlaid onto a detailed map, of course, but then it would be original research...—Ëzhiki (Igels Hérissonovich Ïzhakoff-Amursky) • (yo?); November 15, 2013; 17:04 (UTC)
I have used Timeanddate for many years in many countries and never caught it making a mistake. It has also received quite a number of favorable reviews in third-party sources. So I think you should consider it reliable, though it can depend on exactly what information you wish to take from it. A higher source you should consider is the IANA time zone database (known as the tz database until IANA took it over, if I understand things correctly). There are lots of bits of software that use the database and these could be considered reliable if their copy of the database is up-to-date. I notice on their software list that Timeanddate is one of the places using it. Zerotalk 10:33, 16 November 2013 (UTC)
As I previously pointed out, the concern is not about the accuracy of the source, it's about its meeting Wikipedia's reliability criteria, which explicitly require the source to have a "reputation for fact-checking and accuracy" (emphasis mine). None of the "favorable reviews" (and I assume you are referring to these) mention the site's accuracy, only its usability, breadth of coverage, and convenience. While those are good features to have, none of them count towards the reliability criteria. The website itself does not clarify where the data actually come from, which is another reason why it can't be treated as a reliable source.
As for the IANA database, that's a very helpful suggestion; thank you. I see no reason why it can't be used directly instead of the websites which lift the data from it.—Ëzhiki (Igels Hérissonovich Ïzhakoff-Amursky) • (yo?); November 18, 2013; 17:46 (UTC)

I am wondering if is a reliable source. I am not familiar with the source, and I immediately believe the source is questionable at best. The source is this one, and was added by an IP editor here. From regular news sources, I am not seeing anything about status downgrading of the injury from a stab to a severe scratch as the vulture source claims:

  • CNN
    • A Comic-Con attendee stabbed another near the eye with a pen Saturday after they got into an argument over whether one was sitting too close to the other, police said.

  • USA Today
    • A stabbing Saturday night in a packed auditorium at the Comic-Con International pop culture convention temporarily brought the presentation of some of the most highly anticipated films to a halt.

  • Washington Post
    • A stabbing occurred today at Comic-Con in Hall H, the largest auditorium in the San Diego Convention Center.

--RightCowLeftCoast (talk) 16:43, 15 November 2013 (UTC)

Yes. is New York Magazine. It's definitely a reliable source. I've used it in a few articles, myself, but, like you, I was initially skeptical. NinjaRobotPirate (talk) 23:25, 15 November 2013 (UTC)
Hmm, but the source does not provide where they got this updated information, whereas the three sources I linked above do. So would including it without other reliable sources verifying the source, would including it be giving it undue weight?--RightCowLeftCoast (talk) 06:40, 16 November 2013 (UTC)
They probably got it from the police, but who knows. It's a reliable source, though, so we have to assume that it went through their fact-checking process. For something this minor, I wouldn't worry too much about it. If it still bothers you, you could always attribute it to the source: According to, the stabbing was later downgraded to a "severe scratching". NinjaRobotPirate (talk) 08:50, 16 November 2013 (UTC)
Thanks, I will go with that suggestion.--RightCowLeftCoast (talk) 11:14, 16 November 2013 (UTC) reliable for reviews?

Is reliable for manga and anime reviews?

I'm drawing from an archived project discussion.

Japanator has been interviewed by Anime3000 and Anime News Network's ANN Cast. Extremepro (talk) 12:16, 16 November 2013 (UTC)

It is a reliable source of criticism of its journalists who are more familiar with the topic, but this is not Ebert & Roeper and their opinions are still just opinions. Like all things, the actual content of the review would be subject to analysis and the depth and insight of the reviewer ultimately is affirmed or rejected by whoever cites it. In disputes, it should be case-by-case and ultimately be included or removed on the grounds that the review is accurate and complete. ChrisGualtieri (talk) 12:47, 16 November 2013 (UTC)

Might statements by academic writers sometimes be Primary?

I would appreciate comment on whether my view or Astynax's is the more correct interpretation of Wikipedia policy, as reflected in our exchange at Talk:List_of_new_religious_movements#EST

  • I said:
So are you saying that anything written by an "academic" is automatically a secondary source? I should have thought it was obvious that writings that cited primary sources and analysed them would be secondary sources, whereas writings that did not cite other sources, but expressed an opinion of the author (which presumably does happen from time to time) would be primary sources establishing that the author in question does hold that opinion. DaveApter (talk) 16:35, 4 November 2013 (UTC)
  • And he replied:
A scholar's published works within their field of study are secondary sources. A work by an academic could still be a primary source if the person is writing about him/herself or about experiences outside his/her field of study. • Astynax talk 18:17, 4 November 2013 (UTC)

Thank you. DaveApter (talk) 17:01, 15 November 2013 (UTC)

There is nothing special about academic writings that make them secondary sources. An academic could perform a scientific experiment and report on it. That's a primary source. Or he could write a review of other people's experiments; that's secondary. Or he could write a textbook or an encyclopedia article summarizing secondary sources. That's tertiary. As with independence and reliability, determination of primary, secondary or tertiary status must be made on a case by case basis according to content of the work and sources cited. --Mark viking (talk) 18:44, 15 November 2013 (UTC)
Notes from an experiment or isolated studies are not the type of thing DaveApter is disputing. WP:SCHOLARSHIP states: "Material such as an article, book, monograph, or research paper that has been vetted by the scholarly community is regarded as reliable. If the material has been published in reputable peer-reviewed sources or by well-regarded academic presses, generally it has been vetted by one or more other scholars." That should answer his question, though coming from me it likely will not. • Astynax talk 21:59, 15 November 2013 (UTC)
While what WP:SCHOLARSHIP says is correct, "secondary" and "reliable" are two different concepts. If I do an experiment, write about it and publish that in a reputable peer-reviewed journal, that publication may be reliable, but it is still primary. If I read a bunch of papers on moon rock composition and write in my blog that in summary, the moon is made of cheese, that publication is secondary but unreliable. Both WP:SCHOLARSHIP and WP:WPNOTRS recommend that not only the sources be reliable, per WP:RS, but the best sources for writing WP articles should also be secondary. A more detailed explanation of primary, secondary and tertiary as WP defines them is at WP:PSTS. --Mark viking (talk) 22:28, 15 November 2013 (UTC)
The sources referenced which were DaveApter has been questioning are all clearly secondary sources, and hopefully your explanation has made that clear. What DaveApter has been questioning is the synthesis of primary sources made in secondary sources authored by academics. • Astynax talk 22:42, 15 November 2013 (UTC)
A scholarly work is a secondary source for the facts it presents and a primary source for the writer's opinion. When it discusses opinions expressed in other works, including those by the writer, it is a secondary source for those opinions. TFD (talk) 09:22, 16 November 2013 (UTC)
I agree with Mark viking's two posts: a scholarly work can be primary, secondary or tertiary or a mixture of the three (which is not always easy to untangle in any useful way), and reliability is a separate concept to both being scholarly, and the primary/secondary/tertiary distinction. I think this is not inconsistent with what TFD says. I would ask Astynax to explain a bit more about the position posted above. At first sight I do not agree with Astynax. A scholar can be primary in their specialised field: when they are doing something "original". OTOH that does not mean we can not cite such primary works. It might be good to give more specific details from the case at hand.--Andrew Lancaster (talk) 10:00, 16 November 2013 (UTC)
I had already noted, in the quotation from me that DaveApter gave in his original question, that secondary sources can contain primary material. I'm quite aware of that. The works in question are instances of eminent scholars pulling together threads of research from various sources and producing a meaningful presentation. By its very nature, producing a secondary source involves author synthesis, which is not at all a problem with reliable scholars working under reliable editors publishing under an academic imprint. Author synthesis is intrinsic to every aspect of producing a secondary source, and it is wrong to suggest that this renders a secondary source into being a primary source. These are clearly (to most anyone) secondary sources unless the term is to be parsed into meaninglessness. In the case at hand, there are multiple citations for the entry DaveApter has attempted to blank (and a much greater number of backups are possible that it seems ludicrous to add at this point). Full quotations are provided in the footnotes for the EST entry at List of new religious movements, should you wish to examine them. • Astynax talk 19:06, 16 November 2013 (UTC)

This discussion just emphasizes how useless the primary/distinction is for basing policy on. The boundary divides too many different things at different places and has very poor correlation with either verifiability or reliability. Zerotalk 10:46, 16 November 2013 (UTC)

Thank you all for your extremely helpful comments to clarify the general issues. It would indeed be helpful to get some feedback on the specific case from non-involved editors if anyone has the patience to trawl through the discussion at Talk:List_of_new_religious_movements. The situation as I see it is as follows: Astynax has a strong desire to have Erhard Seminar Training (est) included in that list. I (and several other editors) feel strongly that this is inappropriate as it was a personal development training scheme which was offered between 1974 and 1984, and was neither religious nor a movement as these words would normally be understood. Astynax argues that several authors have described it as a NRM and this is definitive, despite the fact that several other authors have stated clearly that it is not. Those who have referred to est as a NRM generally have not provided any references to primary sources elsewhere to back up their categorisation, or have merely mentioned it in passing, or have referred to it with explicit qualifications. Astynax has also claimed that the expression 'New religious movement' is a specialised term used by academics in some way other than the meaning of the words in everyday language, although he is unable or unwilling to say what this specialised meaning might be or to point to any reliable source to back up this assertion. Astynax has also modified the lead to the List of new religious movements to better accommodate his interpretation in a manner that seems to me to violate Wikipedia:Lists_(stand-alone_lists)#Selection_criteria. Thank you. DaveApter (talk) 12:54, 16 November 2013 (UTC)

Please stop impugning my motives and shopping your baseless accusations to yet other talk pages. • Astynax talk 19:06, 16 November 2013 (UTC)
the actual difficulty is trying to categorize something by a single word. The world of philosophy/religion/self help/etc. is not divided into things that are or are not "new religious movements". An author, scholarly or not, can use the term however they please, and it's the sort of thing where no statement is really authoritative. If I say it is, it means really that I think it has some basic characteristics of one, and if I say otherwise, it means I think that t any apparent similarities are not fundamental. All we can do here is give an accurate description and the reader will think of it as they judge best. DGG ( talk ) 01:28, 17 November 2013 (UTC)

Is it OK for "In popular culture" sections of articles to contain unsourced lists?

I am not sure if this is the best place to ask this question but here goes anyway. The article Jezebel which I went to a lot of trouble to re-write and improve as it had been in a very poor state for years, has a list at the end "In popular culture" which grows longer and longer with editors adding unsourced and, it seems to me, unverifiable information such as somebody called a hurricane "Jezebel" in some movie, a character in a video game has "Jezebel" as a first name, there is a long list of pop songs called "Jezebel". How does anybody know that any of this stuff is even accurate if it is OK just to stick in such bits of trivia with no source? My inclination is to delete all of it except what is cited to a verifiable source, but is that an OK thing to do? Or would it be better to move it all into another article "Jezebel in popular culture"? but I still don't see how it is OK to have an article consisting of a list of unsourced tidbits of trivia. Thanks,Smeat75 (talk) 18:11, 15 November 2013 (UTC)

If a particular movie, video game, or the like, is claimed to have mentioned the topic of the article in a certain way, that IS a citation. Of course, the source must be published, and sufficient information must be given to identify the source. The source need not be online. Ephemeral sources ("Joe Blow at the University of Podunk commencement in 1965 stated that Jezebel...") are not acceptable. Policy does not say that a statement may be removed because the citation does not adequately specify the location of the supporting material within the source, but I'd be inclined to remove the statement if finding the supporting material within the source is unreasonably difficult (I'm not gonna view a two hour movie to find one sentence if the person citing the movie fails to give some idea of where the sentence is within the movie). Jc3s5h (talk) 18:35, 15 November 2013 (UTC)
Alas - all too often such "lists" are lists of unsourced trivia which, frankly, are neither encyclopedic in nature nor value. Collect (talk) 19:34, 15 November 2013 (UTC)
To verify that something was 'in popular culture', rather than just 'mentioned in some random video game', one would need a secondary source - how else would one know that 'popular culture' had noticed? AndyTheGrump (talk) 19:43, 15 November 2013 (UTC)
And WP:UNDUE applies as well. Only the appearances that have had impact and notice by third parties are really worth including. -- TRPoD aka The Red Pen of Doom 19:50, 15 November 2013 (UTC)
(edit conflict) When compiled by someone knowledgeable of the topic (provided they are kept to a reasonable size with respect to the rest of the article and only the most influential appearances are documented), those lists are in some cases one of the most valuable resources that Wikipedia can hold, and one that can only be compiled by our collaborative process. To that end, it's recommended to include an inline reference for each item, preferably from third parties whenever possible, or else a reference to the work containing the mention.
For those other entries that aren't covered in reliable sources, the relevant policy advise is to move them to the talk page to provide an opportunity to other editors to study them and eventually include them in the article if some quality sources exist. It's a good idea to maintain a list at the talk page of those removed entries, as many could belong in a proper article. Diego (talk) 19:52, 15 November 2013 (UTC)
I agree with Collect and AndyTheGrump on this point; firstly, these "lists" are usually just collections of unsourced trivia, and secondly, we shouldn't really say that something is a touchstone of popular culture if it's not actually supported by any secondary sources. bobrayner (talk) 15:41, 16 November 2013 (UTC)
Such items are only acceptable when accompanied by citations to sources that have identified them as being relevant to the portrayal of the item in popular culture. It's not enough to have a citation that verifies that Hello Kitty appeared in an episode of a random sitcom, you need a citation that analyses the relevance of that appearance of Hello Kitty.—Kww(talk) 21:04, 16 November 2013 (UTC)
Thanks to all for the helpful replies. I will act on your advice.Smeat75 (talk) 02:58, 17 November 2013 (UTC)

Book cover quote

Jesús Huerta de Soto article. Can sentence Former European Central Bank director Jean-Claude Trichet wrote that Huerta de Soto’s Money, Bank Credit, and Economic Cycles "is indeed a remarkably stimulating and thought provoking summa." be used in a "reception" section with ref being Jesús Huerta de Soto, Money, Bank Credit, and Economic Cycles, 2012, 3rd Edition, Back cover quotation. I put it in because couple past WP:RSN discussions said that unless there was evidence the quote was fabricated it could be used. I saw several non-RS mentions of it but could not find original quote. (Perhaps they sent him the book? don't know.) Thanks. CM-DC surprisedtalk 18:27, 9 November 2013 (UTC)

Uninvolved editors

  • I don't see why not from a reliability standpoint, but if this is source is being used for how the book was received, it's not a particularly good source. Obviously, book publishers are going to put the most flattering quotes on the book covers and it may not be a fair representation as to how his work was received. Personally, I would try to find better or at least other sources. A Quest For Knowledge (talk) 23:24, 9 November 2013 (UTC)
  • There is a significant danger of promotion if positive reviews are taken from the book itself. I have seen reviewers misrepresented by book review blurbs. For instance, Day of Deceit quotes a primarily negative review out of context to make it seem as if the reviewer called the book stimulating and thought-provoking without tearing apart its premise. The original source should be found or the review blurb left out. Binksternet (talk) 01:59, 10 November 2013 (UTC)
  • This is similar to using quotes on Amazon. As Binksternet says, these can be misrepresentations of the actual source. Like billboards outside theatres cherrypicking from reviews. Dougweller (talk) 09:48, 15 November 2013 (UTC)
  • Material on book covers cannot be said to be independent or high-quality as it is selected, edited (and sometimes solicited) purely to promote the book. I would say it is almost always not usable. Alexbrn talk|contribs|COI 05:06, 17 November 2013 (UTC)

Involved editors

  • Thanks for opinions. I see this done a lot when people trying to make someone look bad for praising a book the don't like in a blurb. And other opinions I heard weren't too trustworthy. Obviously best to find original quote. CM-DC surprisedtalk 16:42, 10 November 2013 (UTC)

Enquiry concerning the RT Network

Can someone tell me, is the RT network (formerly Russia Today) a reliable source? I ask because some editors use it and I would happily do so for some things but I always thought the state-owned nature and the existing dislike of the network in established quarters may have dampened its "reliability" on Wikipedia. Can someone please confirm the verdict as I don't know where to look. Thanks.

Also - concerning blogs and material considered non-RS (not forums), are these ok to add on articles as external links? Provided of course no content is drawn from the source in question. Any thoughts? --Zavtek (talk) 14:29, 12 November 2013 (UTC)

It depends on the topic. What content do you have in mind?
RT is not appropriate for foreign politics, international relations &c - and if editors are already using it on controversial topics because it says what mainstream sources don't, that's a red flag right there. Maybe it's worth considering on uncontroversial Russian current affairs though. bobrayner (talk) 01:54, 13 November 2013 (UTC)
I'm awaiting official word on the status. It is hardly relevant what thinks of it because that netowrk dances to the tune of CNN and the like - they can criticise the "nature" of RT by citing its relationship to the regime but that does nothing to rebut the stories presented and how most of those in turn serve to expose the truth behind the favoured regimes of Also what are "mainstream sources"? Those unified in projecting the same vision they like the world to see? My question is whether if something is reported in RT, albeit a figure, an event etc., can this be used? We can use BBC as and when, we can use UN reports as and when, so I just need someone in administration here to clarify the point. Zavtek (talk) 19:36, 13 November 2013 (UTC)
Conspiracy theories worsen the problem, rather than remedying it. bobrayner (talk) 22:46, 13 November 2013 (UTC)
"Mainstream" media shamefully lobbying for western interest is not a conspiracy theory, it is a hard established fact that some people prefer to block their ears to. Zavtek (talk) 22:49, 13 November 2013 (UTC)
To qualify as a RS, RT would need to have in place a system of editorial oversight and fact checking, and have a reputation for accuracy. I assume that the first is not a problem. The second - do we find that RT is trusted as a source by other media organisations? If there are examples where positive comments on its work by otehr media organsiations that would suggest so. On your second question, WP:EL discourages the addition of links to sources which would not qualify as RS. Martinlc (talk) 23:26, 13 November 2013 (UTC)
Thanks. I'll take it RT does not qualify for citation purpose on reporting facts, and non-RS links should not feature on articles. All clear now. Zavtek (talk) 23:49, 13 November 2013 (UTC)
I think it's safe to use RT as a source for facts, though like any source if they are reporting facts which conflict with facts other RS' are reporting, such may occur aroung highly controversial topics, consipracy theories, WP:REDFLAG would be applied. Being government funded and having a bias viewpoint is more the rule than the exception for newspapers. Sepsis II (talk) 00:37, 14 November 2013 (UTC)
Yes I see your point. It is a difficult one. If you're familiar with round the clock news networks, you'll also be aware they tend to go round and round in circles and after two hours, you've seen it all for a whole day. As such, I do watch RT daily but I'll also take in the BBC News Channel (or sometimes SKY/FOX) to get the "wider picture". In my experiences, they don't normally report contrasting facts but they apply their own spin on events. To give an example: whereas CNN for instance will hail elections (in a country which has recently experienced regime change resulting from western action ousting a dictatorship) as free and fair (and all things beautiful), RT will explore the negative aspects such as "how free is it really?" by pointing out voter intimidation, organisational irregularity, violence which serves to spoil the occasion, etc. Now CNN in turn probably won't deny this, and they might even mention it briefly but they'll concoct a report which appears to make the free elections trump the side effects. This gives the impression it is the election itself which is the main headline and that by playing down other events, the western action was justified. RT by exalting the negative elements (such as by deliberately interviewing persons to have supported the ousted regime and now with nobody to vote for and living under threat from loyalists to the new regime) will sell the story that the western actions have not improved things. So it is all about what angle you choose. So bottom line, RT is fine, but to be used cautiously and not as an overriding factor if it contrasts with other sources. Thanks Sepsis. Zavtek (talk) 07:48, 15 November 2013 (UTC)

Just want to point out that RT has been brought up several times on this board - you can find them on the archives. Here is a list

My takeaway from all that, is that RT is probably fine for simple facts ("there was a plane crash on Oct 3..") as it is a news org with editors and fact checking, but that it should not be considered a RS for anything controversial. Jytdog (talk) 18:25, 17 November 2013 (UTC)

Thanks. I've got the picture, if it should contrast with anything in other RS sources then this is where to exercise absolute caution. Though naturally the best thing to do on an encyclopedia is to say: ABC reported this+source, though XYZ reported that+source. Cheers. Zavtek (talk) 19:02, 17 November 2013 (UTC)
Please remember that we are an encyclopedia. We are meant to provide an enduring, authoritative perspective that reflects reality as best we can. So creating content that is just "he said/she said" is a cop-out and fails our readers. We are WP:NOT here to right great wrongs; if things are getting too ideological and hot in a given article, it probably means that at least some editors involved are forgetting why we are here and are getting lost in WP:RECENT too. Good luck! Jytdog (talk) 21:50, 17 November 2013 (UTC)
Thankfully those occasions when one source states one thing and a rival organisation something else are rare, as I stated earlier, it is the spin they apply to their stories which create the impact. Though if not for "he said this, she said that" then we have the dilemma of choosing one source over another or avoiding mention of crucial information which we know exists. Anyhow, when the time comes, I am sure we will all find a way of presenting things in the encyclopedic manner. Thanks Jytdog. Zavtek (talk) 22:01, 17 November 2013 (UTC)

Steven Hassan as "cult expert"

Steven Hassan is a self-described "cult expert" who has self-published three books on the topic of "cults". The title is largely a marketing term, as he isn't held as an expert by published cult researchers, and his testimony as an expert has been rejected from a court case in the past (see Kendall vs. Kendall).

In the article, the term re-appears in the sidebar, backed by two references - one by the New York Magazine

"Data Mind Games". New York Magazine (New York Media Holdings). July 29, 1996. p. 52.

Jump up ^ "Ex-Moonie says cult groups are preying on russians; Analyst sees Ex communists as easy targets". The Globe (The Globe Newspaper Company). November 22, 1992. p. 9.

and one by The Globe.

"Ex-Moonie says cult groups are preying on russians; Analyst sees Ex communists as easy targets". The Globe (The Globe Newspaper Company). November 22, 1992. p. 9

"Cult expert" is an extraordinary claim, and one that researchers in the area do not agree with, with Michael Langone, David Clark, Carol Giambalvo, Noel Giambalvo and Kevin Garvy expressing their wariness about his methods. (Recovery from Cults, Michael Langone (ed), 1993, New York: W.W. Norton and Company, ISBN 0-393-70164-6, p. 173-177)

So the claim is clearly an extraordinary one, and one that doesn't appear shared amongst others in the anti-cult movement. The media isn't qualified to make the distinction, and therefore the sources provided are not reliable in context to establish that Hassan is a "cult expert". Academic sources by researchers in the same field are required. Zambelo (talk) 08:00, 17 November 2013 (UTC)

The designation is descriptive rather than any sort of official title. The term is sometimes applied to other notable people who study religious movements in reliable sources, so I'm not sure that there is anything wrong with its usage. I did a quick search and found several mentions of Hassan as a "cult expert" in scholarly sources and have added those. Hassan obviously rubs some people the wrong way, and there are references (particularly from the 1980s and 1990s when he was criticized for advocating deprogramming) out there that label him as "self-proclaimed cult expert" as you have already noted. There is no reason that both positions may not be noted and cited to sources, though disputes over whether this is notable and how to present is more a subject for WP:NPOVN than here. • Astynax talk 12:13, 17 November 2013 (UTC)
"Expert" has specific meanings and connotations beyond that of "writer about cults" which is what the sources appear to support. One may write about a topic, and be noted for such writing, without being a source for "authoritative knowledge" on a topic. Using a non-contentious turn of phrase is likely the way to go. Collect (talk) 12:23, 17 November 2013 (UTC)
My issue with that is that the reliable sources don't say that he has "authoritative knowledge" of cults, they say he is a "cult expert." Cheers! Coffeepusher (talk) 15:18, 17 November 2013 (UTC)
A title on a local news video is not a "reliable source" for such a claim as the program does not make that claim at all -- the host only says he is an author and a mental health counselor-- it is merely what someone at the station thought would be a "neat title" for the segment, nor is his self-published biography usable as a source here. Now can yu provide an outside absolutely RS source for the claim? Cheers. Collect (talk) 15:26, 17 November 2013 (UTC)
well since there are no licencing agencies for "cult experts" we have to depend on the reliable sources and stick with their verbage according to my read of WP:NPOV and WP:OR, that being said, I believe that Astynax added two other sources which will probably satisfy your call for an "absolutely rs." Cheers! Coffeepusher (talk) 18:14, 17 November 2013 (UTC)
here are the sources Astynax provided us with:
  • Chalcraft, David J. (2011). "Jews for Jesus: Occupying Jewish Time and Space". In Stern, Sacha. Sects and Sectarianism in Jewish History. Leiden: BRILL. pp. 220–221. ISBN 978-90-04-20648-9.
  • Jones, Kathryn A. (2011). Amway Forever: The Amazing Story of a Global Business Phenomenon. Hoboken, New Jersey: John Wiley & Sons. p. 179. ISBN 978-0-470-48821-8.
  • Szalavitz, Maia (2006). Help at Any Cost. New York: Penguin/Riverhead. p. 66. ISBN 1-59448-910-6. Coffeepusher (talk) 18:20, 17 November 2013 (UTC)
Not sure what you're asking about specifically. Wikipedia uses secondary sources and does not accept original research (for or against). That said, are you arguing that there aren't reputable sources to describe him as a 'cult expert', that most reputable sources don't describe him as a 'cult expert' or, some reputable argue against describing him as a 'cult expert' (and a counter statement for balance is required)? AnonNep (talk) 15:52, 17 November 2013 (UTC)
    • The new references:**

The first, Chalcraft, David J. (2011). "Jews for Jesus: Occupying Jewish Time and Space". In Stern, Sacha. Sects and Sectarianism in Jewish History. Leiden: BRILL. pp. 220–221

refers only to Hassan as a "cult expert" when it quotes the Globe article

“when the Boston Globe reported the story, they quoted cult expert Steve Hassan (executive of the US anti-cult Freedom of Mind Centre

the second is written by a business writer, Kathryn A Jones.

An expert is defined by peers in the same area of study. An extraordinary claim such as this demands reliable sources per WP:RS. Zambelo (talk) 22:41, 17 November 2013 (UTC)

AnonNep, I'm asking whether the title "cult expert" is neutral, given that no published cult researcher, academic or court has given him this title, and that it is a self-given label that is more of a marketing tool than anything else. Cult researchers have questioned his methods and findings. At best I think he should be described as "cult couselor" as per his profession, and then the assertion of "cult expert" should be included within the article and formulated "Steven Hassan has been referred to as a "cult expert" ". Zambelo (talk) 22:41, 17 November 2013 (UTC)

Thank you for the explanation. I tend to agree. Placing 'has been to referred to as...' in the article, with relevant sources, but changing the infobox, as suggested by Coffeepusher, below. The latter is in Wikipedia's 'voice' and should take the more neutral wording.
You said "An extraordinary claim such as this demands reliable sources per WP:RS," all of the sources given do qualify under WP:RS.Coffeepusher (talk) 22:55, 17 November 2013 (UTC)
do you have a policy which supports your use of the word "expert" being someone who "is defined by peers in the same area of study."Coffeepusher (talk) 22:56, 17 November 2013 (UTC)
However the third reference should qualify your request for a academic, peer reviewed, reliable source where Hassan is identified as an expert by peers in the same area of study. The book is academic, called a "must read" in a review by Dr. Steve K. D. Eichel within the peer reviewed publication "Cultic Studies Review", and notable enough to have generated a wikipedia article Help at Any Cost. The text is "As former Moonie and cult expert Steven Hassan puts it..." Coffeepusher (talk) 23:13, 17 November 2013 (UTC)

(ec)Chalcraft clearly is not making a distinction apart from his sourcing the term to the Boston Globe article which is not exactly a source strongly regarded for such valuations. The term was specifically in reference to the rest of that section ... where it is clear that Hassan wrote a letter to the paper saying he had been "misquoted" making the claims in that article pretty much useless as far as deeming him an "expert" is concerned. The Amway bit states that MLMs are cults in collusion with the FTC and the Republican Party -- dare I say "conspiracy theorist"? Hassan was mostly cited as favouring legislation signed by President Obama. I rather think that if one does not agree with Obama, that does not make them a "cult." The author has no scientific background whatsoever to deem anything a cult, or anyone a "cult expert." In short, neither source presented is sufficient to make the contentious claim that Hassan is deemed a "cult expert". You need sources written by folks remotely knowledgeable in the field of cults. Cheers. Collect (talk) 23:09, 17 November 2013 (UTC)

please see comment above.Coffeepusher (talk) 23:16, 17 November 2013 (UTC)
also I am unclear as to what policy you are quoting where "you need sources written by folks remotely knowledgeable in the field of cults." I've read through WP:RS and from what I understand it is the editorial process itself that vets the material not specialized knowledge, especially when I can't find any WP:RS that dispute the claim.Coffeepusher (talk) 23:18, 17 November 2013 (UTC)
Your are reaching WP:IDHT territory. WP:BLP requires strong sourcing for contentious claims -- and no source you have furnished thus far meets that standard, and you appear not to note that you have a very small group of editors here supporting your position. Cheers. Collect (talk) 23:33, 17 November 2013 (UTC)
I don't agree about WP:IDHT... I see opinion as pretty evenly split here, which makes sense since this is hardly a black-and-white question. The most practical answer is probably to describe Hassan as "an author who has written extensively on cults", thus avoiding the "e" word while retaining descriptive accuracy. MastCell Talk 23:38, 17 November 2013 (UTC)

Reliable Sources are context-specific. (see Reliability in specific contexts - Biographies of living persons). Accordingly a reliable source, especially for an extraordinary claim, must be strong enough to support the claim.

Also see the section on Academic consensus, in particular regarding blanket statements. Also see WP:RSOPINION.

Stating that Hassan is a "cult expert" is a non-neutral blanket statement, and doesn't support or allow for other viewpoints on the matter A neutral title should be chosen (counselor, per his degree) and the matter of whether he is considered an expert or not should appear in the article body with sources for and against this claim.

Sources should be strong, therefore from academic sources in the same community of practice (ie. academic writings about "cults"). Zambelo (talk) 23:34, 17 November 2013 (UTC)

you misread WP:RSOPINION, which states that some reliable sources publish opinion pieces so you should be aware. But as said above, Help at Any Cost should aliviate all of your concerns as it is a reliable source, has great reviews by the cult studies communities, written by a member of that community, and identifies him explicitly as a "cult expert." Coffeepusher (talk) 23:38, 17 November 2013 (UTC)
I would not use the term per "Puffery". Context is usually provided when the term is used, i.e., someone is considered an expert in academic circles, in the courts, or even a small group of people. Better to say he specializes in cults, explain what others say about his work, and let editors for their own conclusions. TFD (talk) 23:39, 17 November 2013 (UTC)
It appears we have reached a loose consensus, I have kept the above stated references, and changed the infobox from "Cult Expert" to "Mental health counselor, specializing in cults." That would appear to satisfy what everyone has been saying to do with the verbiage in the sources. Are there any objections? Cheers!Coffeepusher (talk) 00:06, 18 November 2013 (UTC)

It'll do. Although this is still far from objective, since he follows his own definition of what constitutes a cult, and has created his own lists. Zambelo (talk) 02:57, 18 November 2013 (UTC)

Source in Art Pope

Is this article a reliable source for the statement of fact:

In 2008, the John William Pope Foundation provided more than 80% of the total budget for each of five leading conservative non-profits in North Carolina.

The relevant quote from the article is

Facing South looked at five of North Carolina's most influential conservative research, advocacy and legal groups -- many of which Art Pope created, or helped create: Capitol Monitor, The John W. Pope Civitas Institute (named after Art Pope's father), the John Locke Foundation, the North Carolina Institute for Constitutional Law and the Pope Center for Higher Education Policy.

Tax records show that Art Pope sits on the board of directors of all but one of the groups, which by law confers a high degree of power to Pope in managing operations, setting policy, and approving their annual budgets.

Most crucially, Pope supplies at least 80 percent -- and in some cases, nearly all -- of the operating budgets of the groups, a level of purse-string power so dominant that the Internal Revenue Service classifies all but one of them as a "private foundation," a relatively rare designation used only by non-profits who disproportionately rely on a single benefactor.

The source is The Institute for Southern Studies, a non-profit media and research center, which has run a number of pieces on Art Pope's political engagements. Research on this topic by the Institute for Southern Studies has been used in articles by a number of news outlets including The New Yorker and The News and Observer a13ean (talk) 21:07, 12 November 2013 (UTC)

The source is clearly an opinion-based site, and thus is problematic except for its opinions ascribed as opinion. For instance -- its definition of "leading groups" might simply be "groups associated with Pope" or the like - it does not appear, on its face, to be a dispassionate source for factual claims. What you are left with would be: 'Facing South', the online blog of the Institute for Southern Studies said " Art Pope has structured his relationships with North Carolina's leading conservative organizations in a way that ensures Pope holds a high level of organizational and financial control -- far beyond that seen in most other nonprofits in the state," and that the head of one of the non-profits opposed 'the suggestion that "the existence of organizational or financial relationships between free-market groups in North Carolina must create a locus of control ... the Dark Side of the Force as personified by Art Pope.". Or thereabouts. Collect (talk) 15:08, 13 November 2013 (UTC)
So you don't feel that its a RS for the calling these organizations "leading conservative non-profits", although I assume you would agree that it is a RS for summarizing public records of donations? I don't see issue with using a source which is far from dispassionate for uncontroversial statements of fact (for example the John Locke Foundation is an excellent source for facts about the state budget) but if others disagree with that characterization (which seems quite reasonable to me, being familiar with the organizations in question) then I'm sure a different source could be used. a13ean (talk) 15:58, 13 November 2013 (UTC)
It is a RS for its opinions stated as opinions. The article is apparently an unsigned editorial piece, and is clearly aimed at promoting its opinions more than anything else. The "80%" bit is not sourced by it to a reliable source for facts, thus fails WP:V. Again -- if there is the remotest problem with a source, states its opinions as opinion, and recall that WP:BLP always applies. Cheers. Collect (talk) 16:35, 13 November 2013 (UTC)
The 80% bit is sourced by the article to the primary source of tax filings, which are publicly available and plastered all over the internet. Your characterization of the source, an article with a byline published by a well-known research organization, as "unsigned editorial piece" is inaccurate, and the implication that this type source is inadmissible for simple statements of fact has no basis in WP:RS. It's not an opinion that the JWPF donated some amount of money to an organization, it's a simple fact. Fortunately, in this case the selection of the source is independent of the article's content, as there's a number of news articles that make nearly identical statements. a13ean (talk) 19:41, 13 November 2013 (UTC)
You appear to claim the article was written by the organisation? Alas -- that does not pass the risibility test. In general "organisation" articles are, indeed, editorial in nature. Cheers. Collect (talk) 20:43, 15 November 2013 (UTC)
I think Collect is way off base here. The Institute for Southern Studies has won several Polk Awards for their journalism. These awards are among the most prestigious in journalism, and are generally not given to "opinion-based sites" but rather are given for high-quality investigative journalism. Thus, I think it reasonable to consider Facing South a reliable source for the content in question, and I don't see a coherent policy basis for Collect's objections. MastCell Talk 04:52, 18 November 2013 (UTC)

─────────────────────────The source appears to have the byline at the bottom, and is written by Chris Kromm, who according to [57] is the executive editor and publisher of the Institute for Southern Studies. The institute's mission has a strong political bent according to [58]:

The Institute draws attention to the national importance of the South and offers an exciting vision of the region-a place brimming with a capacity for progressive change that challenges its reputation as a monolithic, conservative stronghold. Throughout our history, the Institute has maintained a strong commitment to developing research and publication projects that directly support grassroots organizing, especially efforts for corporate and government accountability.

MastCell is correct to observe that the organization has won awards for journalism and seems to be well regarded for its research and investigations. The tone of the piece itself is quite dispassionate: a blend of facts and analysis but no evident editorializing. The statement in the WP article that the source is intended to support is a concise summary of the facts presented in the piece, and the only part subject to interpretation is the adjective "leading". While caution is merited in general when relying on agenda-driven journalism (from whatever political angle), in this case the reputation of the publisher, the tone of the piece, and the article text it supports all combine to satisfy the determination of reliability. I demur somewhat on the basis of being unable to determine whether the piece (or any of the institute's pieces) is fact-checked, but the publisher's history of journalism awards is a reasonable indicator that they aren't irresponsible in that respect. I say reliable. alanyst 06:20, 18 November 2013 (UTC)

Looks reliable to me since the writer and the publisher are respected journalists and the fact appears to be very well researched. Binksternet (talk) 15:57, 18 November 2013 (UTC)

The Perth Group website

The Perth Group website is a dissident (or "denialist") HIV/AIDS web which main claim is that the existence of the HIV virus is not proven. I think the next text which describes who belongs to that group here should be a reliable source :

The Perth Group ... The three original members are the leader, biophysicist Eleni Papadopulos-Eleopulos, emergency physician Valendar F Turner and Professor of Pathology John Papadimitriou. Over the years several other scientists have contributed to or joined the Group. These are physicists Bruce Hedland-Thomas, David Causer and Barry Page, Florida USA biochemist Todd Miller and Colombian physician/medical researcher Helman Alfonso.

I think a sufficient condition to consider that text as reliable would be to show the people responsible of the web are certainly Eleni Papadopulos-Eleopulos and her colleagues, because if that is the case, with the text they would be simply speaking of themselves.

In this site (not a dissident site), it can be read:

the HIV “dissidents” led the way, with Valendar Turner and Eleni Papadopulos-Eleopulos of the Perth group taking the stand, giving a link to The Perth Group web.

In this site (an official HIV/AIDS web), it can be read:

the Perth Group of medical scientists and physicians from Australia. The Perth Group (led by Eleni Papadopulos); A small band of Australian scientists and physicians; The Perth Group appears to have only two active members: a medical physicist called Eleni Papadopulos-Eleopulos and an emergency physician called Valendar Turner; and it's given a link to The Perth Group web as a reference (see below, references 3 and 40)

And there are several other dissident sites in which it's acknowledged The Perth Group web are certainly Eleni Papadopulos-Eleopulos and her colleagues. For example here, in which it's written exactly all the text under evaluation, and a link to The Perth Group web.

The article which would be affected is the HIV/AIDS denialism article. The text "Eleni Papadopulos et al." would be substituted by The Perth Group, which is a Wikipedia article.

Peter the Roman, -- (talk) 19:31, 18 November 2013 (UTC)

Groups don't publish articles, authors do. That is my view on this. When I write an article it is not attributed to my university, but to me. Dbrodbeck (talk) 03:18, 19 November 2013 (UTC)
The matter here is if I have shown The Perth Group (i.e. the people responsible of The Perth Group web) and Eleni Papadopulos et al. are the same people. If that is the case, they have chosen "The Perth Group", voluntarily, as an alias identifying themselves. So I see no problem simply using that alias here in Wikipedia. Likewise, I see no problem you using "Dbrodbeck" instead of your real name. Peter the Roman, -- (talk) 04:05, 19 November 2013 (UTC)
Scientific articles are published by individuals. Oh and my real name and identity are clearly visible on my user page, if that, for some reason, interests you.... Dbrodbeck (talk) 04:26, 19 November 2013 (UTC)
And "The Perth Group" denotes individuals, as any alias. Peter the Roman, -- (talk) 04:39, 19 November 2013 (UTC)
In academia, a principal investigator may publish an article within their capacity with a larger group and credit the group or institute within the article, while at the same time publishing an article that is not affiliated with the group or institute. It would be inaccurate to say that that second article was credited to the institute or group. Basically, whether the authorship of an article can be credited to a group needs to be by individual article. The "Perth group" hosting articles on their website is not an explicit claim of authorship. As a more general question, if this "group" is two or three people why are we needing to credit their work in-article to the group, anyways? VQuakr (talk) 05:17, 19 November 2013 (UTC)
Comment in any article where "the Perth Group" label is to be used (and it does appear in reliable sources, as I said on Nov 7) then it should be defined on first use using the authors' names as reflected in RS. From that point in that article, we should adhere to clarity and common usage to guide selection of the label versus the authors' names. It would be important NOT to imply that others are included in "the Perth Group" unless reliable sources indicate that clearly to be the case. -- Scray (talk) 05:53, 19 November 2013 (UTC)

Are these reliable sources for Cantonese NDA?

The first reference is to what seems to be a forum post[59] at MIT BBS. I used Chrome to get a translation of the entire page which starts "Sender: lzmm (people do not make me, I do not prisoners), the letter area: Military Title: China and the East Asian descent ---- DNA data zz " - looks like data from the " Origin of Chinese Civilization Project". The second source is a peer reviewed paper[60] used for "Among Guangzhou Genetic evidence shows evidence of Caucasian maternal mtDNA in Guangzhou. Yao Yonggang et al. reported that Kivisild detected one W mtDNA out of 69 Guangzhou Cantonese population (1.44%), an common Middle Easterner and Iranian marker [35] with a slight difference to other Cantonese." The paper doesn't use the words 'Caucasian', 'Iranian' or 'Middle Easterner'. When I removed it the first time it was replaced by the IP who added it with the edit summary "Editing a genetic paper.mitbbs for 中国各地DNA数据. This is a popular study edited in many Chinese wikipedia. The other is a Phylogeographic Differentiation of Mitochondrial study in Guangzhou with a mtDNA W marker". I deleted it again and it was replaced with an edit summary saying " Please do not remove this popular Chinese editted on Chinese wiki. The other is also a Chinese study that proves persian presense in guangzhiou". Dougweller (talk) 10:36, 15 November 2013 (UTC)

Oops, the section is Cantonese people#DNA.Dougweller (talk) 10:55, 15 November 2013 (UTC)

From Huangzhou science university

Is not a forum..... that's mitbbs ------> a website regarding military and genetics from the famous university " Huangzhou science and technology "

Iranian marker from the middle east

Haplogroup W (mtDNA) is found in only Caucasoid in significant frequencies especially many Middle eastern/West Asian Iranic groups. It's found in the ethnic Iranian Kurds from Persia/Iran who have 10% mtDNA W Quintana-Murci et al. 2004,and in the Zoroastrian of Iran also known as the Parsi who now lives in India and Iran, they have 17.9% of mtDNA W although their population is less than a 100,000 but they have migrated everywhere. Svan population a Caucasus/West Asian Iranic ethnic group is found 8.3%. This strongly proves the theory that Persians did migrated to Guangzhou and contributed their DNA.

Although mtDNA is also found quite signficant in Europe there is no way this mtDNA W Caucasian marker in Guangzhou came from Europeans

The maximum frequencies of W are observed in Finland (9.6%), Hungary (5.2%), Latvia (4.1%), Macedonia (4%) and Belarus (3.7%, but over 5% if we exclude the south). The Finns and the Hungarians are both speakers of an Uralic language, which would imply an Uralic connection with haplogroup W. However other Uralic people have much less and often no W at all. For example the Saami have only 1% and the Udmurts 0%.

Regional hotspots in Catalonia, Brittany-Normandy and Ireland mirror those in the same regions for U5 and V, which are also typical of Finland and Karelia. It's hard to see how all these regions could be connected historically, unless all of them share a common Mesolithic ancestry.

Haplogroup W is also well represented among some ethnicities of the North Caucasus, such as the Karachay-Balkars (8.1%), Avars (8.1%), Adyghe-Kabardin (5.2%), three peoples who also share nearly 5% of haplogroup X.

Outside Europe, haplogroup W is also found at high frequencies among the Tajiks (6.2%), around 1.5% among the Uzbeks, Turkmens and Kazakhs, and at trace frequencies (< 0.5%) among many North Asian ethnic groups (Tuva, Yakuts, Buryats, Mongolians, Koreans, Japanese). The most likely explanation is that W was a minor lineage of the Indo-Europeans. A founder effect in the female Indo-European population could explain their oddly elevated frequency of W. (talk) 8:03, 15 November 2013 (UTC)

  • Give me a break. No sane person who can read Chinese would consider this particular post on a reliable source. The post begins with a sentence that roughly translates as: "Japanese bastards ... shut up!" The DNA claim in the article should be deleted unless a reliable source can be found. -Zanhe (talk) 03:56, 16 November 2013 (UTC)
A student from Mibbs posted the data that came from Zhenjiang university. It didn't say Japanese bastard just told them to shut up because of the accusation from a Japanese sciencetist who uses blood samples and that said that people from south China are not Chinese but haplogroup Y-DNA and mtDNA shows otherwise that all South Chinese including Cantonese have heavy Chinese blood. But the DNA data is absolutely reliable but I agree you can produce a better source.
Here is the original < ------ genetic paper >
Here is the translated (talk) 5:29, 16 November 2013 (UTC)

A bona fide forum post on a internet portal site (anyone else tries to state otherwise are either legally blind or tries to deceive other editor's lack of language skill)...the author might as well be Albert Einstein and there wouldn't be a snow ball's chance in hell this source can be used as reliable scientific literature. And yes, I am a native Chinese speaker. Jim101 (talk) 18:08, 16 November 2013 (UTC)

The source is posted in almost every site about genetics even in Baidu and Chinese wikipedia. If you can really read Chinese than you will know what the hell this means 《中国人种源头分布一览表》

中华文明探源工程初步结果----DNA数据 (talk) 8:23, 16 November 2013 (UTC)
  • And besides the fact that Eupedia is not an RS, I still don't see any sign that the peer reviewed article mentions Caucasian, we seem to have some original research here. Dougweller (talk) 21:58, 16 November 2013 (UTC)
  • The link you provided above is another forum post, not a reliable source. Please stop wasting everyone's time unless you can provide an article published in a respectable scientific journal, or at least a reliable news source that quotes the research. -Zanhe (talk) 00:57, 17 November 2013 (UTC)

Zanhe, I sincerely hope you double check next time before making such claims it's not forum. It is a genetic article not a forum because if it was a forum it would have mentioned it on the address bar and comment box would have been given. What about Baidu/Wiki? it clearly mentions the source here and you can't edit the source unless you locked in.

Isn't this reliable enough? SOURCE -------> ???


Population research 2010


Another source shows Guangdong Han have 68% Han Chinese paternal DNA but only 15% maternal Han Chinese DNA which is also very close to the original study.

SOURCE ------->

As for the second source. Why must the paper mention Caucasian? would you prefer they mention Mongoloid. How much intelligence does it take to figure out mtDNA W is a Caucasian marker? it doesn't take a genius to understand Haplogroup W (mtDNA) is a Caucasian marker because is dominant in Iranic speaking and Indo-European people. Unless you're telling me Europeans, Iranians and Kurds are not Caucasians. Why such a lack of commonsense? (talk)10:05, 17 November 2013 (UTC)

That's an admission of original research if there ever was one. IP is edit warring to keep this in. Dougweller (talk) 07:08, 18 November 2013 (UTC)
And user-edited sites such as Baidu Baike are not reliable sources. If the data were really published on the journal Renkou Yanjiu (Population Research) as the Baidu article claims, we need to find the source of that article (issue no., date, author, etc.) -Zanhe (talk) 11:11, 18 November 2013 (UTC)
It is a common problem on human population genetics articles that our editors think they are stating an obvious fact when they equate the modern geographical place where a haplogroup is most common, with being the place where that haplogroup must have originated. In fact haplogroups which have spread rapidly for whatever reason tend to show highest frequencies in areas where the wave of expansion has expands to. Serious publications look more at other indicators in order to determine likely places of origin.--Andrew Lancaster (talk) 15:16, 19 November 2013 (UTC)

Hearsay in a reliable source

In her book, Alice writes some things about what her philosophical arch-enemy Bob said to her. We don't have any statements from Bob regarding his side of the story. Charlie, writing in a reliable-source newspaper, mentions what Alice said about Bob.

Does the fact that Charlie relayed what Alice wrote about Bob make it suitable for inclusion in Wikipedia? An editor is claiming that, even though we don't have Bob's side, Wikipedia should nonetheless state Alice's side, because Charlie reported it in a reliable source. Bob is a famous individual. vzaak (talk) 01:16, 19 November 2013 (UTC)

If an rs reports what what Alice said about Bob then we have an rs about what Alice said about Bob. Note that editorials and columns in newspapers are not rs.
The issue is WP:WEIGHT. If the news media report one side of a story then ignore another, then we follow news media. News media may be unfair, but it is not our role to correct that. There are exceptions however. If an investigative journalist or obscure publication mentions something and the rest of the media ignore it, then we should take that silence as meaning that what Alice said was unimportant, and should not be included.
Journalists have standards they must follow, and should ask Bob his view before publication. And Bob may complain about Charlie, either to the editor, the press council or other media.
TFD (talk) 04:13, 19 November 2013 (UTC)
I was hoping to keep the article unnamed because it is already on several noticeboards, but it would seem that specifics are necessary, so here is the section in question. It's completely weird to me that Wikipedia is reporting what Richard Dawkins is alleged to have said according to his philosophical enemy. We don't know the Dawkins side of it, which would almost certainly be different. vzaak (talk) 06:22, 19 November 2013 (UTC)
There is no doubt that Rupert Sheldrake said what he did so the sources are rs for that. But I do not see it has any relevance to the Dawkins article, especially since it did not receive wide coverage and Dawkins did not reply to it. Telepathy is a fringe theory and that Dawkins does not believe in it is insignificant to his article. TFD (talk) 07:08, 19 November 2013 (UTC)
This is the Rupert Sheldrake article, not the Dawkins article. In any case your point about a non-reply from Dawkins indicating WP:UNDUE could also apply to the Sheldrake article. Whether a newspaper can launder hearsay is a separate issue. vzaak (talk) 08:02, 19 November 2013 (UTC)
Reliability, notability and neutrality are separable issues, but concerning the topic of this noticeboard it seems like TFD is correct: Sheldrake is RS for what Sheldrake has published as having happened. There is no real neutrality concern with reporting a POV either. If there is some risk of the POV being read as the voice of Wikipedia we can attribute the words to make sure it is clear that we are reporting the POV of a specific person. So the issue remaining seems to be notability, which is something which will be different for different WP articles.--Andrew Lancaster (talk) 09:38, 19 November 2013 (UTC)
If we're going to use legal terms like Hearsay as metaphors, we'd better get it right. Hearsay is something the person reporting has no direct experience of; it would be Alice writing that Bob told her that Charlie said something, i.e. Alice has no direct experience of what Charlie said. The issue of it being hearsay is generally only relevant when there is no confirmation available from Bob of what Charlie said and of what Bob said to Alice (if there is, Alice's evidence is just corroboratory). To come back to the concrete: Sheldrake is saying that Dawkins said something to him, and Sheldrake putting this claim in writing is absolutely not hearsay. (It is hearsay for Dawkins' claim about the programme. Content and statement are not the same thing.) Podiaebba (talk) 09:28, 19 November 2013 (UTC)
Charlie has no direct experience of what Bob said. Charlie says what Alice says about what Bob said. Since Charlie is writing in a reliable source, editors want to use Charlie's statement as evidence, which I think is fair to characterize as hearsay evidence. Does a reliable source launder hearsay? vzaak (talk) 14:43, 19 November 2013 (UTC)
The statement isn't hearsay, and Charlie writing about the statement doesn't make it so - and please drop the "laundering" term, it's neither relevant nor helpful. As to Wikipedia use: Charlie's writing about Alice's claim in a reliable source (without expressing any scepticism as to the veracity of Alice's claim) contributes to our evaluation of Alice's report of Bob's statement as both trustworthy and noteworthy. To a lesser extent it also contributes to our evaluation of Bob's statement being accurate, if reliable sources report it without scepticism or contradiction. Podiaebba (talk) 15:10, 19 November 2013 (UTC)
I said that Charlie's statement is hearsay. It was never claimed that Alice's statement is hearsay. In this case Charlie is not an investigative journalist reporting news; he's writing an opinion piece in a newspaper in order to advance Alice's point of view. vzaak (talk) 15:36, 19 November 2013 (UTC)
Anyway, there is no rs problem, so I suggest we close the thread. I do not see any POV issues, but that is better discussed at the POV noticeboard. TFD (talk) 19:03, 19 November 2013 (UTC)
Your first comment didn't initially register with me, that "editorials and columns in newspapers are not rs". The article in question is an editorial supporting Sheldrake. It seems that the editors wanting to push it as a reliable source for what Dawkins said are conflating an editorial with a hard-news article held to journalistic standards. So my assessment is that there is an RS issue; Wikipedia shouldn't relay these alleged quotes which were relayed through an editorial. vzaak (talk) 19:38, 19 November 2013 (UTC)
It seems that the editors wanting to push it as a reliable source for what Dawkins said - well if anyone's trying to do that, obviously it's not. Unless there's some indication that the author of the editorial or news piece has verified the quote from its author, it isn't attempting to verify anything (and therefore the reliability of the editorial/news piece is irrelevant). All it does, as I said above, is provide some indication that Sheldrake's report is considered trustworthy by a mainstream media commentator - but this is irrelevant for reporting Sheldrake's claim (the reader can make up their own mind as to Sheldrake's trustworthiness). NB It slightly passes me by why this quote is so significant as to merit mention; it's a cute anecdote for an autobiography, but why does it matter to us? Podiaebba (talk) 21:07, 19 November 2013 (UTC)
If I understand correctly, the WP article might as well quote directly from the original source instead of going through the editorial, which simply relays the quote from the original source. The strange part, to me, was that editors were suggesting that some kind of special reliability status was conferred upon the quote by virtue of it appearing in a newspaper, suggesting a confusion between hard-news journalism and an editorial. But as you say, all the editorial does is indicate that a media commentator believed the quote. vzaak (talk) 22:04, 19 November 2013 (UTC)
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